Health Economics

Foundational Research on Health Care Markets and Policies


The Becker Friedman Institute’s mission is to advance economic research that addresses our most significant economic, social, and policy challenges. In an era of rising health care costs, an aging population, emerging global health threats, and evolving insurance markets and regulatory environments, the questions of how we provide and pay for health care—and improve health—are fundamental.

To address these important questions, the institute established this Health Economics Initiative in 2016. It will encourage analysis of the economic forces that shape health care costs, coverage, provision, and outcomes: incentives, innovation, regulation, competition, labor markets, public financing of health care programs and fiscal constraints, and international differences in health care policies, markets, and technology.

The first component of this multidisciplinary initiative is the Program on Foundational Research in Health Care Markets and Policies, directed by Tomas Philipson in collaboration with Casey Mulligan and David Meltzer.

This program will focus specifically on how the health care sector functions, the relationship between this sector and other parts of the economy, and the appropriate roles of markets and governments in providing health-related services.


Tomas J. Philipson

Tomas J. Philipson is a globally recognized health care economist and has received numerous worldwide research awards. He has served in key political positions in health policy for the federal government and has also consulted for many Fortune 100 companies. Dr. Philipson focuses his research on health economics and its impact on public policy decision-making and frequently contributes his expertise to popular press including his monthly Forbes column.

Casey B. Mulligan

Casey B. Mulligan authored the 2015 book Side Effects and Complications: The Economic Consequences of Health-Care Reform. His recent research is concerned with capital and labor taxation, and he has written widely on the labor effects of the Affordable Care Act.

David O. Meltzer

David O. Meltzer M.D., Ph.D., studies problems in health economics and public policy with a focus on the theoretical foundations of medical cost-effectiveness analysis and the cost and quality of hospital care. He is currently leading a study of effects of improved continuity in the doctor-patient relationship between the inpatient and outpatient setting on the costs and outcomes of care for frequently hospitalized Medicare patients.