The competencies for the PhD Concentration in Health Economics and Policy are met through required and elective coursework, independent research and the process of writing a thesis. Upon successful completion of the concentration, students will have mastered the following and department-wide competencies:
Health Economics and Policy Concentration Competencies
- Apply key concepts in microeconomic theory, including how the behavior of individual households and firms affects the market supply and demand of goods and services and how the market failures arise under certain circumstances.
- Analyze key theoretical concepts in health economics, including the underlying determinants of health, patient demand for healthcare services, and the organization and financing of healthcare services, with an emphasis on critiquing the effects of alternative forms of financing and organizing healthcare services on cost, quality, access and overall public health.
- Apply key concepts in applied econometrics, including both sophisticated empirical models for healthcare utilization, expenditures, and health outcomes and various rigorous empirical approaches that emphasize causal inferences for policy analysis.
- Apply key concepts in economic evaluation, including both (a) traditional frameworks for cost-effectiveness analyses which emphasize cost/QALY measurement and incorporate uncertainty and (b) more recent stated-preference estimation methods often incorporate discrete choice experiments.
- Conduct original research in the field of health economics, ranging from conception of innovative ideas through study design, selection and application of appropriate analytic methods and data; interpretation of results; and both written and oral dissemination of findings.
Department-wide PhD competencies
- Analyze the nature, scope, and determinants of major health policy problems by applying conceptual frameworks from key academic disciplines, formulating testable hypotheses, and identifying appropriate interventions based on an understanding of the existing evidence base.
- Critique the policymaking process, including the underlying roles of legislation, regulation, litigation, and advocacy; the differences between federal, state and local policies; and the influence of academic research in the policy formulation and evaluation processes.
- Assess the organization and financing of both public health and medical services and critique their impact on access and use, quality of care, costs, and outcomes.
- Apply appropriate rigorous empirical methods to the evaluation of health policy, including a well-rounded foundation of the methods and tools of public health, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and survey design.
- Communicate scientific findings effectively through written and oral methods to technical and lay audiences, demonstrating an ability to interpret study results in light of study limitation and prior research.
- Conduct research in accordance with the highest ethical standards, scientific integrity, and interpersonal collegiality.