Saturday, April 28, 2012

MIT's Finkelstein wins Clark Award

Other than the Nobel Prize, the most prestigious honor in economics is the John Bates Clark Medal, which annually recognizes an under-40 American economist.  Over a third of all Clark winners go on to receive Nobels.  This year's Clark winner is MIT's Amy Finkelstein.  WSJ's writeup emphasizes her applied work in health economics.  One field study conducted in Oregon was a randomized experiment where some low-income households received an invitation to apply for Medicaid.  A year later those invited "used more health care, had lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and reported better physical and mental health."

Quoting MIT's press release, the American Economic Association "prominently cited Finkelstein’s research on the complexities of health insurance markets as a key reason for her honor. She has published multiple significant papers about the effects of asymmetric information in health insurance markets — elucidating, among other things, how frequently individuals with information on their high health risks purchase health insurance, and alternately, how frequently lower-risk people purchase insurance because they are risk-averse."  

For more in-depth details, see the AEA's citation here.  

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