Health Economics

Foundational Research on Health Care Markets and Policies
BFI: Health Economics Initiative

Faculty Directors

Katherine Baicker, Dean and Emmett Dedmon Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy

Neale Mahoney, Associate Professor of Economics and David G. Booth Faculty Fellow, Booth School of Business

Description

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 critical. The Health Economics Initiative aims to develop and support the advancement of fundamental economic research on such questions.

Health care and public health research are at the forefront of efforts to improve health care delivery and effectiveness. What sets this initiative apart is its primary focus on applying the tools of economic analysis to understand the basic forces—supply and demand, asymmetric information, incentives, and investments in human capital, for example—that influence health policies and the systems in which they are implemented. 

This initiative currently contains three programs focusing on markets and policies, delivery, and human capital:

  • Foundational Research on Health Care Markets and Policies (Faculty Director: Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics and the College) - This program was launched to inspire new ideas and novel approaches to health care delivery problems, with emphasis on incentives, innovation, regulation, competition, labor markets, financing, and other issues.
  • Economics of Health Care Delivery (Faculty Director: David Meltzer, Professor in the Department of Medicine, and affiliated faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics; Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, Director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and Chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Chicago) – In this program, researchers are analyzing the determinants of cost and the effectiveness of health care delivery, as it accounts for nearly all of health care spending in the United States. 
  • Health and Human Capital (Faculty Director: Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics and the College) - Building on UChicago’s long-standing leadership in the study of human capital and its connection to health outcomes, this new project will advance our understanding of how human capital creates incentives and enhances the ability of individuals to monitor and invest in health while, conversely, exploring how health promotes investment in human capital.

Affiliated Scholars

Peter Ganong, Assistant Professor at Harris Public Policy

David Meltzer, Professor in the Department of Medicine, and affiliated faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics; Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, Director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and Chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Chicago 

Casey Mulligan, Professor in Economics and the College

Prachi Sanghavi, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Studies

Brad Shapiro, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Beatrice Foods Co. Faculty Scholar, Booth School of Business 

Pietro Tebaldi, Assistant Professor in Economics and the College 

Research

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, Katherine Baicker and Amy Finkelstein 

Do Larger Health Insurance Subsidies Benefit Patients or Producers? Evidence from Medicare Advantage, Marika Cabral, Michael Geruso, Neale Mahoney

How Do Individuals Repay Their Debt? The Balance-Matching Heuristic, John Gathergood, Neale Mahoney, Neil Stewart, Jörg Weber

Bad Credit, No Problem? Credit and Labor Market Consequences of Bad Credit Reports, Will Dobbie, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Neale Mahoney, Jae Song

What Does (Formal) Health Insurance Do, and For Whom?, Amy Finkelstein, Neale Mahoney, Matthew J. Notowidigdo

Provider Incentives and Healthcare Costs: Evidence from Long-Term Care Hospitals, Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Neale Mahoney