LLS Center City Philadelphia

Fall 2017:

Health in America (LLS 176PHL)
Meets Tuesdays, 6:45 – 9:15 p.m.
Sept. 12 – Nov. 7, but not Oct.17
3000 Two Logan Sq. (18th & Arch St.’s), 31st floor, Pepper Hamilton LLP

Spending on health care per person is higher in the U.S. than in any comparable country.  Many people believe that spending more leads to better health.  Data on health outcomes, however, tell a very different story.  But if spending more does not lead to better health, then what does?  This course will attempt to answer that question.

We will first explore the health care economy and the incentives that drive the behavior of patients, physicians and hospitals, insurers and governments.  With that foundation, we will attempt to answer a set of core questions about what determines a population's health.


Major topics:

  • What factors other than health care influence population health?  How do education, income, race, and gender correlate with health status?
  • How has U.S. health policy evolved over time and how has it influenced population health?
  • What can the U.S. learn from other countries' successes and failures?
  • How can we use this knowledge to evaluate the Affordable Care Act as well as possible modifications and replacements?

Concepts from health economics will play a central role in this course, but we will also draw on models and readings from history, demography, public policy, and public health.
No prior technical knowledge is expected.


The professor:

Ellen Magenheim, Professor of Economics. At Swarthmore she teaches Health Economics, Microeconomics, and Research Methods for Community-based Field Experimental Research. Her scholarly work is focused on the application of behavioral economics to shaping improvements in health, financial, and other behavior. In LLS she previously taught behavioral economics.


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