Health Economics

Professor: Whaley
Units: 0.5
Elective Course (fulfills a Research, Analysis, and Design Modeling Human Systems distribution requirement)

The principal objective of this course is to explore theoretical and empirical evidence on the workings health care markets. This course will focus on the US health care system, which accounts for approximately 20% of GDP. The course is designed around lectures providing the foundations for each topic area. Readings for each course will consist of both “the classics” and recent empirical work. Empirical papers will cover a wide variety of data sources, research questions, and econometric methods. This approach is intended to allow students to learn both the subject matter and techniques necessary to critically analyze existing research in the field and to produce original research in health economics, the latter of which is the major goal of the course.

By the end of the course, students should be able to critically evaluate research on cash and in-kind benefit programs, as well as tax policy, in the US through an economic lens. Additionally, they should have substantial knowledge of the institutional structure of the major social programs in the US and recent economic findings pertaining to these programs, with a particular focus on the effects of these policies on poverty and income inequality. Finally, students should be able to develop a research idea in the broad area of public economics into a viable research proposal.