This effort launched in 2016 as the inaugural program of the institute's health economics initiative. It seeks to initiate a nationally recognized effort to develop and advance foundational research on health care markets and policies.
The initiative, directed by Tomas Philipson in collaboration with Casey Mulligan, works to create a community of on-campus and visiting researchers who are inspiring new ideas and undertaking novel approaches to understanding health care markets. Affiliated researchers are studying the impact of incentives, innovation, regulation, competition, labor markets, public financing of health care programs, and fiscal constraints, as well as international differences in health care policies, markets, and technology.
To date, the program has:
- provided funding and support to emerging scholars;
- sponsored a conference and other events to foster exchanges and sharpen and share research;
- hosted visitors, to create a community of scholars across and beyond campus who are taking novel approaches to understanding health care markets;
- created a working papers series to highlight new lines of inquiry; and
- shared research-based perspectives on financing health care and the economic impact of health care reform in forums beyond academic circles.
In the spirit of the path-breaking early works of the institute’s namesakes, Gary Becker and Milton Friedman, the program seeks to enrich health economics research by infusing broader economic research agendas into narrowly focused disciplines.
The program has already advanced valuable contributions on financial health economics, novel insights into the effects of the pervasive but not fully understood price controls present in health care, and analysis of the emerging field of personalized medicine. To foster fundamental research, we have brought visitors to campus, spoken at events as part of our outreach efforts, and hosted an inaugural research conference, “The Health Sector and the Economy.”
A key focus of the program is to cultivate the next generation of health economists. In April 2017, the second round of funding was awarded to eight pre- and postdoctoral fellows whose fresh ideas will bring the field forward. By providing fellowships, mentorship, and other forms of support, the program aims to create a pipeline of new researchers who bring energy and creative new research to the field.