Course Description

Professional Development > Course Descriptions > Health Economics

Health Economics applies economic principles to the health care sector. By recognizing the importance of scarcity and incentives, it focuses on the critical economic issues in producing, delivering, and financing health care. It analyzes determinants of demand for medical care, the unique role of physicians in resource allocation, the role of health insurance, and competition in medical care markets.

Video of a sample lecture from Health Economics
In this lecture, Guy David, PhD explains the roles of sellers, buyers, and product in the context of a health care system.

Next Available Course Dates: August 6–September 30, 2019

Estimated Hours/Week: 8

Learning Objectives

Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the role of economics as it applies to health care markets, orgs, and individuals.
  2. Identify key challenges, both financially and organizationally, that health care delivery is currently facing.
  3. Analyze interactions between the players in a health care market, using economics frameworks and models.

Target Audience

Clinicians, administrators, and researchers who have the on-the-ground skills of health care delivery and want to understand the logic of health care as an industry. This course is suited to quantitative thinkers who enjoy solving real-world analytical problems.

Meet the Faculty

Guy David, PhD

Guy David, PhD, is the Gilbert and Shelley Harrison Associate Professor of Health Care Management at The Wharton School, Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, and the Director of the Doctoral Program in Health Care Management and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. David is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Director of Education at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Prof. David is an associate editor of the American Journal of Health Economics and co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Health Economics and Management.

Prof. David is intrigued by the economics of increasingly important segments of the health care industry. By using state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical methods to study how individuals, firms, and regulators interact in health care markets, his research has yielded insights into the complex organization of health care delivery and also into deeper questions of firm behavior, regulatory design, and human capital formation. His research interests include: the dynamics of mixed-ownership competition in health care markets, evaluation of policies towards nonprofit providers, industrial organization and regulation of post-acute care, the economics and organization of emergency medical services, division of labor along the care continuum, patient centered medical care, welfare effects of specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, and direct-to-consumer advertising and drug safety.

Prof. David received his BA and MA in Economics from Tel Aviv University, and his PhD in Business Economics from the University of Chicago. He teaches undergraduate, MBA, and PhD courses in Health Economics and Health Care Delivery at Wharton, and a graduate course in Health Economics at the Perelman School of Medicine.

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