Past Award Winners


Victor R. Fuchs Award: Thomas McGuire

Tom McGuire

Thomas G. McGuire, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Victor R. Fuchs Award. The award is given to an economist who has made significant lifetime contributions to the field of health economics. Since 2001, McGuire has been a professor of health economics in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. For 25 years prior, he worked in the Department of Economics at Boston University. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He was a co-editor of the Handbook of Health Economics Volume 2, and served for ten years as an editor of the Journal of Health Economics. McGuire’s research focuses on the design and impact of health care payment systems, the economics of health care disparities, the pharmaceutical sector, and the economics of mental health policy. His awards for research include the Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association. He received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

McGuire received his BA in economics from Princeton in 1971 and his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1976.


ASHEcon Medal: Benjamin Handel & Jonathan Kolstad 

Jonathan Kolstand, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Medal. The award is given to an economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics.  Professor Kolstad is an Associate Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Kolstad is an economist whose research interests lie at the intersection of health economics, industrial organization and public economics. He is particularly interested in finding new models and unique data that can account for the complexity of markets in health care, notably the role of information asymmetries and incentives.

Ben Handel Picture

Benjamin Handel, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Medal. The award is given to an to economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics.  Benjamin Handel is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2010. He received his A.B. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from Northwestern. He was named a National Bureau of Economic Research faculty research fellow in industrial organization in 2011 and became a research associate in 2016, when he also became Co-Director of the NBER working group on insurance markets. He is an expert on health care business and policy and has worked with numerous businesses and policymakers in partnerships to research key topics in health care economics. Handel’s work is primarily concerned with the economic analysis of health insurance markets.

Willard Manning Award: Pat BajariHan HongMinjung Park and Robert Town, Estimating Price Sensitivity of Economic Agents Using Discontinuity in Nonlinear Contracts

Pat Bajari, Han Hong, Minjung Park and Robert Town are the recipients of the 2018 Willard Manning Award. The award memorializes Will Manning’s contributions to the development and application of econometric methods in health economics by recognizing the best published health economics research in econometric methodology or econometric application.

Professor Pat Bajari

Pat Bajari, PhD, is  is the recipient of the 2018 Willard Manning Memorial Award.   Pat is an applied econometrician currently working as Chief Economist and Vice President for Amazon in Seattle, WA. His team of PhD economists, software development/data engineers, and machine learning/data scientists use applied econometrics and scientific practices to help Amazon better serve their customers and operate more efficiently. They have collaborated with other Amazonians to develop technically advanced but practical solutions in operations, pricing, forecasting, applied marketing and merchant services that currently power their platform.

Prior to working at Amazon, he was a full time academic working in applied econometrics and empirical industrial organization. He is a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has served as a journal editor and thesis advisor. While in academia, he consulted to the Boston Consulting Group, the Federal Reserve System, the Law and Economics Consulting Group, the US Federal Trade Commission and served as an expert witness in antitrust and litigation.

Image result for han hong stanford

Han Hong is the recipient of the 2018 Willard Manning Memorial Award. Han has been a Professor of Economics at Stanford University since 2007. His research interests focus on econometrics, industrial organization, and applied microeconomic analysis. He has published in top economics and econometrics journals on a wide range of research topics. In 2009 he was elected to be a member of the Econometric Society, an internationally recognized organization for economists and econometricians.  The Econometric Society has about 700 fellows worldwide in 2014. New members are elected each year through an anonymous voting process.  Professor Hong has also visited and taught in the University of Chicago, Beijing University, Renmin University, Zhongshan University, HongKong University of Science and Technology, and the Catholic Universite de Louvain in Belgium.  He is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Econometrics, a flagship journal for econometrics research.

Minjung Park, PhD,  is the recipient of the 2018 Willard Manning Memorial Award. Minjung is an empirical microeconomist with specialties in empirical industrial organization, microeconometrics and marketing. Her main research interest lies in firm behavior in a competitive marketplace and various strategies used by firms to attain the competitive edge. In her work, she employs structural models to analyze how firms respond to institutional and market incentives and how the strategic interactions influence market structure and consumer welfare. She is also interested in identification and estimation of time preferences in dynamic discrete choice models. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

Image result for "robert town" wharton

Robert Town, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 Willard Manning Memorial Award. Robert  is an authority on competition economics with a focus on healthcare markets, mergers analysis, and the airline industry. His areas of expertise include health economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics, with particular emphasis on mergers, hospital structure and efficiency, health insurance, and physician incentives. In his research, Professor Town studies provider and insurer competition, the role of competition in determining hospital quality, and healthcare market dynamics. In addition to articles in the Journal of Health Economics, Econometrica, American Economic Review, Health Affairs, and the Antitrust Bulletin, he has cowritten book chapters about healthcare provider competition and deregulated airlines. Professor Town is an associate editor at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. He’s currently a professor at the University of Texas, Austin.

Student Paper Award: Emily Lawler, “Effectiveness of Vaccination Recommendations versus Mandates: Evidence from the Hepatitis A Vaccine


Emily Lawler, PhD,  is the recipient of the 2018 Student Paper Award. The award is given to the best student sole-authored paper. Emily Lawler is a health economist whose research focuses on the effects of public policies on maternal and child health, both in the United States and the developing world. Her current work studies the effects of vaccination policies on health and health behaviors. In the fall she will join the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs as an Assistant Professor.


Victor R. Fuchs Award: Frank Sloan

Frank Sloan is the J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics at Duke University. He is the former Director of the Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at Duke (CHPLM) that originated in 1998. He holds faculty appointments in five departments at Duke, with Economics being his primary appointment. He did his undergraduate work at Oberlin College and received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Duke in July 1993, he was a research economist at the RAND Corporation and served on the faculties of the University of Florida and Vanderbilt University. He was Chair of the Department of Economics at Vanderbilt from 1986-89. His current research interests include alcohol use and smoking prevention, long-term care, medical malpractice, and cost-effectiveness analyses of medical technologies. He also has a long-standing interest in hospitals, including regulation of hospitals, health care financing, and health manpower. Frank has served on several national advisory public and private groups. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and was formally a member of the Physician Payment Review Commission. He is the author of about 300 journal articles and book chapters and has coauthored and coedited about 20 books.

ASHEcon Medal: Not awarded

Will Manning Award: Andrew Jones, James Lomas and Nigel Rice(2015) Healthcare Cost Regressions: Going Beyond the Mean to Estimate the Full Distribution. Health Economics, 24: 1192–1212.

Andrew Jones New      Staff Photo for James Lomas   

Abstract: Understanding the data generating process behind healthcare costs remains a key empirical issue. Although much research to date has focused on the prediction of the conditional mean cost, this can potentially miss important features of the full distribution such as tail probabilities. We conduct a quasi-Monte Carlo experiment using the English National Health Service inpatient data to compare 14 approaches in modelling the distribution of healthcare costs: nine of which are parametric and have commonly been used to fit healthcare costs, and five others are designed specifically to construct a counterfactual distribution. Our results indicate that no one method is clearly dominant and that there is a trade-off between bias and precision of tail probability forecasts. We find that distributional methods demonstrate significant potential, particularly with larger sample sizes where the variability of predictions is reduced. Parametric distributions such as log-normal, generalised gamma and generalised beta of the second kind are found to estimate tail probabilities with high precision but with varying bias depending upon the cost threshold being considered.

Student Paper Awardees: Elena Prager (“Tiered Hospital Networks, Health Care Demand, and Prices”) and Juan Pablo Atal (“Lock-in in Dynamic Health Insurance Contracts: Evidence from Chile”)


Elena Prager is an economist interested in issues at the intersection of health economics and industrial organization. Her research focuses on the supply side of the health care market, studying strategic behavior among health insurers and health care providers. Current work examines the interaction of health insurance design, hospital-insurer price negotiations, and provider network formation. Prior to her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Elena graduated with an iBBA in business and economics from York University. This fall, Elena will join Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as an Assistant Professor.

Image result for Juan Pablo Atal

Juan Pablo Atal is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on different aspects of health economics. He is currently studying the workings of long term health insurance, the determinants of team productivity in the emergency department, and the effect of quality regulations on the pharmaceutical market. Prior to earning his PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, Juan Pablo graduated with a Bs. in Industrial Engineering and an M.A. in Economics from Universidad de Chile, and worked as a research assistant at the Inter-American Development Bank. This fall, he will join the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.


Victor R. Fuchs Award

Dr. Joesph Newhouse, is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University, Director of the Division of Health Policy Research and Education, chair of the Committee on Higher Degrees in Health Policy, and Director of the Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy. He is a member of the faculties of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Harvard University. Following his Bachelor’s degree, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. Dr. Newhouse spent the first twenty years of his career at RAND, where he designed and directed the RAND Health Insurance Experiment, which studied the consequences of different ways of financing medical services. From 1981 to 1985 he was Head of the RAND Economics Department.

ASHEcon Medal

Amy Finkelstein,is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America, a research center at MIT designed to encourage and facilitate randomized evaluations of important domestic policy issues. She is also the co-Director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the John Bates Clark Medal (2012), given annually to the economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

Student Paper Award

Alice Chen, is a health economist whose research focuses on the interactions between health insurance, access to care, and labor markets. Her research examines how physicians respond to changes in Medicaid payment and eligibility, and her work has been published in the Journal of Health Economics. Her paper was entitled “Do the Poor Benefit From More Generous Medicaid Physician Payments?” Prior to earning her PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Alice graduated with a BS and SM in applied math from Harvard. She will join the University of Southern California, Price School of Public Policy as an Assistant Professor.


Victor R. Fuchs Award

Mark V. Pauly, Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Management, Professor of Health Care Management, and Business and Public Policy at The Wharton School. He is Co-Director of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Life Sciences and Management Program and Professor of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pauly received the Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia. One of the nation’s leading health economists, he has made significant contributions to the fields of medical economics and health insurance. His classic study on the economics of moral hazard was the first to point out how health insurance coverage may affect patients’ use of medical services. A former commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission, Dr. Pauly has served on the advisory committee to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the Medicare Technical Advisory Panel. He recently served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, an associate editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, and Co-Editor of the Handbook of Health Economics, Volume 2.

ASHEcon Medal

Amitabh Chandra, Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). In 2011 he served as Massachusetts’ Special Commissioner on Provider Price Reform. He is an editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics, Economics Letters, and the American Economic Journal, and was previously an editor at the Journal of Human Resources. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the New England Journal of Medicine. He is the first-prize recipient of the Upjohn Institute’s Dissertation Research Award, the Kenneth Arrow Award for best paper in health economics, and the Eugene Garfield Award for the impact of medical research.

Student Paper Award

Michael Darden, Tulane University, “Smoking, Expectations, and Health: A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Lifetime Smoking”


Victor R. Fuchs Award

Willard G. Manning, Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago

ASHEcon Medal

Mark G. Duggan, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, and Senior Economist, Council of Economic Advisers

Student Paper Award

Johathan T. Kolstad, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, “Information and Quality when Motivation is Intrinsic: Evidence from Surgeon Report Cards”


Victor R. Fuchs Award

Michael Grossman, CUNY and NBER

ASHEcon Medal

Loren Baker, Stanford University

Student Paper Award

Susan Feng Lu, Northwestern University


Presented at the First Biennial Conference in Madison

ASHEcon Medal

David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard

Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Economics, MIT

Student Paper Award

Grant Miller, Stanford, for his paper titled “Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia.”