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Applied Microeconomics: The Economics of Good Health

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

This course will introduce students to some basic and common empirical methods used in applied microeconomics. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the intuition behind these econometric techniques and how they can help improve causal estimates. Students will then see how these techniques can be applied to answer important questions in the field of health economics.

Broad topics to be covered will include the economic determinants of health, social and economic inequalities in health, the market for health insurance, adverse selection and moral hazard, and the role of government in health care. This course will provide students with some basic empirical tools that can be applied not only to issues in health economics, but also many other fields of applied microeconomics. Additionally, students will be encouraged to see the world from an "economic perspective" as they evaluate empirical work, research, and policy proposals in the future. Finally, given the rising health care costs in the U.S. and the recent passage of the PPACA, this class will be especially timely and will provide students with the ability to analyze health topics from an economics perspective.

Students will be able to identify the difference between correlations and causality, as well as understand some basic problems with identifying causal estimates. Students will be familiar with some basic empirical methods that are used often in the field of applied microeconomics. Students will be introduced to basic topics, main issues, and current research in the field of health economics. Students will be encouraged to think critically about these current issues and consider different viewpoints as they discuss avenues for further research and policy.

The prerequisite for this course is Basic Algebra.