EC 782

Health Economics II (PhD level)

September 2019

Class meetings: SSW 546 MW 3:30-4:45 pm

Professor Randall Ellis
Room 555
270 Bay State Road
ellisrp at bu dot edu
tel: 617-353-2741

office hours:  Monday 11:30-12:30 p.m.,Tuesdays 2-3:30,  or by appointment.

You are encouraged to schedule a time for my office hours here, although walk-ins are also welcome.

I try to reserve Thursdays for research. Please try not to ask to meet on Thursdays.

This syllabus is for the empirical and policy portion of the two-course sequence in Health Economics at the Ph.D. level. In 2018 we switched so that 782 is offered in the fall, with 781 in the spring. You do not need to have taken EC781 to take this course. Students should be comfortable with microeconomics courses of the Ph.D. program as well as at least master’s level econometrics; a background in Industrial Organization is helpful, but is not a prerequisite. Interests in labor, development, and public economics are also useful.

There will be one in-class mid-term examination based on first half of the term, and a final examination based on the second half material.

You are invited to write a paper instead of taking the final exam, but need to turn in an outline of that paper by October 31. Final paper is due on the same day as the final exam.

There will be about seven homework assignments linked here and two short in-class presentations.

Grading will be as follows.

Midterm Examination: 30% Date and Time shown on the Course Outline.
Final Examination or Term Paper: 30%  Date and Time is shown on the Course Outline page.

Class participation and preparation: 10%

Presentations and presentation material (including handout and PowerPoint/PDF) 10%

Homework assignments: 20%

Course web site (this page):

There is no required text for this course.

Everyone in the course should read  the following. (You could share one with a classmate.)

Richard Thaler. 2016. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics Paperback: used from $5 on Amazon, Electronic $8.98 on Amazon

This highly accessible and entertaining book gives an excellent overview of behavioral economics and rebuts with evidence and logic the usual assumption that Humans always act as rational Econs. I will also be modeling that Human Doctors behave differently than Hippocratic doctors.

You are invited to read/scan the following. (You could share one with a classmate.)

Elisabeth Askin and  Nathan Moore. 2014. The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System. 2nd Edition Paperback – November 15, 2014

Paper:  $12-15.99 on Amazon    Electronic: $8.99 on Amazon

Original articles, review articles and many of my own writings will be the primary readings. Articles will be posted on the course web site (Accessible only to the BU community).

If you are interested in behavioral economics, then the following book is also recommended.

Thinking, Fast & Slow [Paperback] Daniel Kahneman, October 2011

My goal is that 20% of the course reflects my new passion for behavioral economics.

See course outline for detailed readings.

Please know and adhere to the BU Academic Conduct Code.

Access to course outline and assignments requires a BU login.