2017 BFI Health Economics Fellowships Awarded

To stimulate innovative research, the Becker Friedman Institute’s Health Economics Research Initiative has awarded fellowships to eight pre- and postdoctoral scholars for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The fellowships are meant to encourage original inquiry that will deepen our understanding of health and health care markets and how they relate to the overall economy. The young health economists selected for funding are conducting research on topics such as insurance markets and adverse selection, physician behavior and decision making, government policies, and administrative costs.  

Along with funding, the fellowships provide opportunities for fellows to collaborate and interact with a large network of other economics scholars at the institute and throughout the University of Chicago.

2017 Fellowship Awardees:


  • Coleman Drake, University of Minnesota
    Project: “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Are Narrow Network Health Insurance Plans a Result of Market Failure?”

  • Mariano Irace, Northwestern University
    Project: “Sources and Implications of Patient Loyalty: Evidence from New York”

  • Anh Nguyen, Columbia University
    Project: “Bundling to Reduce Adverse Selection: Application to Vietnam's SHI Program”

  • Molly Schnell, Princeton University
    Project: “The Role of Physician Behavior in the Opioid Epidemic”

  • Priya Shanmugam, Harvard University
    Project: “Doctors as Statisticians: Costs and Consequences of Decision Simplification Due to Constrained Bandwidth”


  • Vilsa Curto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Project: “The Role of Competitive Markets in U.S. Public Health Insurance Programs”

  • Sunita Desai, Harvard University
    Project: “The Impact of Government Intervention on Consolidation and Prices: Unintended Consequences of a Federal Drug Discount Program”

  • Joshua Gottlieb, University of British Columbia
    Project: “The Economics of Administrative Costs in Health Care”

“By providing fellowships, mentorship, and other forms of support, we hope to create a pipeline of new researchers who bring energy and creative new research to the field,"  said Tomas Philipson, Director, Program on Foundational Research in Health Care Markets and Policies.

Awardees will be based at their home institutions but visit the Becker Friedman Institute for the Health Economics Initiative’s annual research conference.