Student Roundtable Highlights Health Economic Research

Do patients follow prescribed medical treatment more closely when a pharmacy opens in their neighborhood? How do hospitals respond to performance-based incentives to improve the quality of care? How do differing patent policies, regulations, and pricing practices influence the entry of new drugs into different countries?

The health economists of tomorrow are pursuing questions like these today. Eight of them—PhD students studying the economics of health care markets—presented their work in progress September 29 at the inaugural Emerging Scholars Roundtable organized by the Health Economics Initiative.

Presenters fielded questions from their peers and faculty experts on hand: initiative director Tomas Philipson of Harris Public Policy, coorganizer Casey Mulligan of the Department of Economics, and Anup Malani of the Law School.

Questions touched on models, methodology, and alternate explanations for the behaviors and issues. Presenters welcomed the feedback and advice: “This is great, keep the questions coming,” said the first presenter, Grant Gannaway of the University of Chicago. The session was planned to coincide with the initiative's first full-scale research conference, the Health Sector and the Economy, the next day, so students could attend that as well. 

Five of the students were Becker Friedman Institute Health Economics Fellows, who are receiving support for their research through the initiative. Along with Gannaway, they include:  Luca Maini, Harvard University; Adam Jørring, University of Chicago; Wenjia Zhu, Boston University, and Maria Polyakova, Stanford University.

Also presenting were: Sebastian Fleitas, University of Arizona; Atul Gupta, Stanford University; and Molly Schnell, Princeton University.