Health Economics

Foundational Research on Health Care Markets and Policies

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


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 Becker Friedman Institute’s Health Economics Initiative aims to develop and support the advancement of fundamental economic research on such questions.

Medical 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, incentives, labor trends, and investments in human capital, for example—that influence health care policies and the systems in which they are implemented.

Specifically, this initiative supports three programs exploring distinct strands of health economics:

The initiative will strengthen the field of health economics by investing in and supporting young scholars just entering the field through fellowships for emerging scholars at the dissertation and postdoctoral stage and opportunities to collaborate.

Affiliated Scholars

Peter Ganong, Assistant Professor, Harris School of 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


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