Harris School Dean Katherine Baicker Visited Beijing and Gave a Talk on Public Health

March 8, 2019

On March 07, Dean Katherine Baicker of the Harris School of Public Policy gave a well-attended talk at the Center in Beijing, on her research on the relationship between Medicaid and public health.  The talk was titled "The Effect of Medicaid on Spending, Health, and Well-Being".  In addition to presenting her findings from a large-scale research project using data from randomized Medicaid expansion in the state of Oregon, Dean Baicker answered questions about her research process and methodology. This gave the audience members, most of whom were prospective or recently-admitted Harris School students, insight into the world of social science research. Colin Hennessey, Associate Dean of Alumni Relations and Development at the Harris School, was on hand to answer questions about the Harris student experience.

Dean Katherine Baicker

Katherine Baicker, a leading scholar in the economic analysis of health care policy, commenced as Dean and the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy on August 15, 2017.

Baicker’s research focuses primarily on the factors that drive the distribution, generosity, and effectiveness of public and private health insurance, with a particular focus on health insurance finance and the effect of reforms on the distribution and quality of care.  She is currently one of the leaders of a research program investigating the many effects of expanding health insurance coverage in the context of a randomized Medicaid expansion in Oregon. Her research has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Health Affairs, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Before coming to the University of Chicago, Baicker was the C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She holds appointments as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; as an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Poverty Action Lab; and serves on the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisers; on the Board of Directors of Eli Lilly; and on the editorial boards of Health Affairs and the Journal of Health Economics. Baicker is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (IOM) and the National Academy of Social Insurance. 

Baicker has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Economics Department at Dartmouth College; and the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. She has served as Chair of the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission; Chair of the Board of Directors of AcademyHealth; Commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. From 2005-2007, she served as a Senate-confirmed Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she played a leading role in the development of health policy. Baicker earned her B.A. in economics from Yale and her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.

The Effect of Medicaid on Spending, Health, and Well-Being with Dean Katherine Baicker

With the future of public health insurance subsidies in the United States and many countries in flux, gauging the effects of public insurance on health care spending, financial security, and physical and mental health is crucial. Such effects are notoriously hard to assess, however, because there are many differences between uninsured and insured populations that may affect health.

Dean Baicker and colleagues used a rare opportunity to conduct a randomized, controlled evaluation of the effects of the US Medicaid program on a wide range of outcomes. Dean Baicker will present recent findings from this and other studies to shed light on the likely effects of changes in health policy.

About Harris

Since its founding, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has been redefining what it means to be a public policy school, shifting the conception of public policy from an ideology, reliant on politics and pedigree, to a science, rooted in data and impact.

Today, we live in a transformative era for public policy, where this distinctive point of view is needed more than ever.

At a time when trust in public institutions is fragile, Harris is leading the way to smarter decision making and better policymaking, training a new generation of leaders who are driven to change the world and know that making a social impact requires fresh thinking and different approaches.