BFI NewsOct 08, 2020

Chicago Booth Professor Matthew J. Notowidigdo Appointed Co-Director of BFI Health Economics Initiative




The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI) is pleased to announce that Matthew J. Notowidigdo, Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth, has been appointed co-director of the Health Economics Initiative.

Notowidigdo joins co-director Katherine Baicker, Dean and the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, and deputy director Joshua Gottlieb, Associate Professor at Harris Public Policy, to lead the initiative.

“I look forward to working with Matt to help drive health economics research at the University of Chicago in new directions,” Baicker said. “His cutting-edge work at the intersection of health markets and labor markets has made him a leader in generating new insights into tackling the challenges of our current system.”

The Health Economics Initiative unites scholars from across the UChicago community to support the economic analysis of health policy and systems, including the effectiveness of public and private insurance markets, physician and patient behavior, administrative costs, and implications for labor economics. In an environment of polarized debate about major policy changes to address evolving health challenges, bringing analytically rigorous evidence to bear is crucial for better outcomes. This initiative delivers thorough and timely research to inform policymakers and other stakeholders as they make tough choices in this vital sector.

Through generous support from Charles McQuaid, the Health Economics Initiative provides UChicago economists access to a wealth of Medicare and Medicaid patient claims data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), establishing UChicago as a leading national CMS claims data center. The Health Economics Initiative regularly initiates a call for proposals to the full Chicago Economics community for innovative research ideas. Through its 2019 call for proposals, the initiative funded eight new grants for UChicago scholars working in the field.

“We’re excited for Matt to join the growing community of health economists at UChicago and to have him co-lead the Health Economics Initiative at BFI,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Director of the Becker Friedman Institute. “His research and experience make him a leader in the field, and his vision for the initiative will prove invaluable to the Chicago Economics community in the years to come.”

Notowidigdo studies a broad set of topics in labor economics and health economics. His research in health economics focuses on the effects of public health insurance on labor supply and the effects of income on health spending. He is currently working with several state governments on large-scale randomized experiments of existing social insurance programs.

“Healthcare cost and coverage are two of the most important policy issues facing the United States today,” said Notowidigdo. “I’m delighted to join the leadership of BFI’s Health Economics initiative to inspire new perspectives on the challenges facing our healthcare system, and support new, innovative research to help inform better policymaking.”

Notowidigdo studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the Booth School of Business in 2010 as an Assistant Professor. In 2014, he joined the Department of Economics at Northwestern University as Associate Professor of Economics. In 2020, Notowidigdo returned to Booth as Professor of Economics. He holds a BS in economics, a BS in computer engineering, a MEng in computer science, and a PhD in economics. He is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research, and he is a co-editor at American Economic Journal – Economic Policy and an Associate Editor at the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Learn more about the BFI Health Economics Initiative here.