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iHEA News - December 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016   (0 Comments)

iHEA News
December 2016

Welcome to the new iHEA newsletter! If you have ideas on content that can be contributed, please contact us at

iHEA News is the official newsletter of the International Health Economics Association.

Executive Update

Message from the iHEA President, Adam Wagstaff

016 has been a busy and transitional year for iHEA. At the end of 2015, iHEA Founder Tom Getzen stepped down, after 22 years at the helm of the association. And in August this year, iHEA lost its RealObectives back-office team of Bill Swan, Patrick Taylor, Christopher Martin and Paula Richardson, who had provided association and congress management support to iHEA since 1997.

All left their mark on iHEA, and health economists around the world owe them all a huge debt of gratitude. iHEA simply wouldn’t exist today without their efforts over the last quarter century. 2016 has been about building on the firm foundations that Tom, RealObjectives, and the many iHEA Board members over the years have put in place.

The congress is, of course, the major activity of any academic association. In Jim Burgess, Randy Ellis, and others, we have a great local organizing committee putting together what should be a very successful iHEA 2017 congress in Boston. To get quality even higher than in previous congresses, the Board has set up a high-powered Scientific Committee, led by Denzil Fiebig, which comprises experts from the various subfields of health economics. Each expert will take charge of assembling a team to select the most promising submitted abstracts, but will also commission a special organized session (or semi-plenary) that will showcase some of the most exciting work in their area. Two stellar plenary speakers are already lined up for Boston. And to make sure we continue to improve congress quality, we have set up a Board Committee on Congress Metrics to develop and implement a quality monitoring system.

Aside from increasing the quality of the congress, the Board has been focused on reducing its cost. With the move from RealObjectives which managed iHEA’s affairs full-time, i.e. without any other clients, to Managing Matters which manages the affairs of several professional associations simultaneously, we have the opportunity not only to share overhead and staff costs with other associations, but also to innovate faster, by learning from other professional associations and keeping up with the professional association industry. We expect that iHEA members will already see some of the benefits of these new arrangements by the time of the Boston congress, in terms of lower costs, and innovations in congress organization. By the time of the Basel 2019 congress, the benefits should be even greater.

Successful associations are not just about congresses, of course. They also provide services to members in between their congresses. With the transition to Managing Matters we now have a new website. Initially we’ve focused on identifying existing content to put up on the site. But we’re also thinking about what content iHEA might create or curate to disseminate via the website and other social media. We’re also thinking about other services and events. In these areas, we’ll be looking to get a sense of what iHEA members would like to see as part of the return on their membership fee. My hunch is that there’s a demand for curated content alerting members to new scientific articles and other publications, new blog posts, upcoming conferences, new job openings, and new training opportunities. I suspect this content will be most valuable if curated by health economists, and proactive ones at that. I also have a hunch there’s a demand for continuing education – a program of world-class training events that would allow health economists to keep updating and extending their skills. But these are just personal hunches. Ideas from all members will go into an ‘ideas pot’; we’ll then scope them all out, think about implementation, costs, ensuring continuity, etc., and try out the more promising ones. 

This year we have also been deepening iHEA’s tradition of recognizing and nurturing health economics talent. The Arrow Award has been awarded every year since 1993. The Board has decided to make the iHEA Student Prize an annual award as well: a committee under Bruce Hollingsworth will choose the winner. The Board also decided to set up a dedicated Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to developing-country researchers to attend iHEA congresses.

You’ll have noticed I’ve mentioned the Board and committees a lot. We’ve focused a lot this year on the governance of iHEA: getting Board members – elected from the iHEA membership – fully involved in scientific and organizational issues; ensuring the Board has close oversight of, and ultimately control over, the association’s finances and the activities of the paid support team; getting non-Board members onto the various Board committees to spread the work around and ensure we take full advantage of the many talents in the iHEA membership; making the Board more representative of the iHEA membership, across regions and across the sexes; reforming the relationships between iHEA and the various regional and national health economics associations; and so on. This is still work in progress.

As I say, then, a transitional and busy year for iHEA. Hopefully all this work will translate into an even more vibrant association, with great congresses and a lot of services that member’s value in between them. Please keep in touch, and please get involved.

Upcoming Events

Join us in Boston for the 12th World Congress in Health Economics

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the iHEA biennial congress in Boston, Massachusetts from 8-11 July 2017. Boston is home to several of the most highly-regarded academic institutions in the USA, including Boston University (host of the congress), Harvard University, Tufts University, MIT and Brandeis University. The local organizing committee includes leading health economists from these universities.

Along with the Scientific Committee, we are planning what promises to be an exciting and high quality congress program. Carol Propper of Imperial College, London will present the opening plenary on “The usefulness of competition and choice in heavily regulated markets”, and Daron Acemoğlu from MIT will present the closing plenary on “Democracy and Health”. In addition to the main congress program, there will be a range of pre-congress workshops, mini-conferences and seminars on 7-8 July 2017 that will be well worth attending. We encourage you to submit an abstract for the main congress before 16 January 2017 to be considered for inclusion in the program. Calls for abstracts have also been issued for several of the pre-congress mini-conferences.

Boston is a wonderful city to visit! Founded in 1630, it is one of the oldest cities in the US.  Come a few days early and visit Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, just down the road from the congress venue at Boston University. Walk the Freedom Trail, stop by Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market, and explore the many other attractions the city has to offer (visit the website). Sit by the Charles River and listen to the Boston Pops as Boston celebrates the 4th of July (US Independence Day) in style.


12/20/2016: Pre-congress session proposals close
01/16/2017: Abstract submission closes
03/31/2017: Early Bird registration closes

We look forward to welcoming you to Boston!

Jim Burgess, Congress Local Organizing Committee Chair

iHEA will be at AEA

iHEA will be represented at the American Economic Association Annual meeting in Chicago, January 6-8, 2017. We will be hosting two organised sessions and co-hosting a reception with the American Society of Health Economists at which the 24th Arrow Award will be presented.

Friday, January 6, 2017

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Hyatt Regency Chicago, Plaza A
ASHEcon/iHEA Cocktail Reception

For more upcoming events click here

Career Opportunities

To view our new career center and search for job openings and other career opportunities click here.

All jobs can be submitted online. Please select “submit an opening” to do so. Please note that there is a cost for non-members to post on the iHEA site. If you have any questions, please reach out to

iHEA Members

Latest Developments at iHEA

Many thanks to all for your patience during this period of transition.  We are pleased to announce that our new website is now up and running … please take a look at it here!  There are many new features that we hope you will find useful and we will continue to add additional content over the next few months.

Along with the new website, a number of other changes are being introduced, particularly in terms of communication with members.  We are discontinuing iHEAWeek, which generally focused exclusively on job and event listings. Our new website has an excellent ‘career centre’ which allows you to search job openings and other opportunities using a range of search categories, and also has a well organised list of upcoming events. Instead, we have started this newsletter, which initially focuses on what is happening within iHEA. It is a work in progress and will over time be expanded to include information on a wider range of developments in the global health economics community. We will also start to engage more actively through social media channels in the near future.

An important change that requires some explanation relates to membership categories, duration and fees. In line with the trend in many other professional associations, iHEA has moved to a two-year duration membership.  We are also offering four-year membership at a discounted fee.  We retain the anniversary membership renewal system, so current members will be contacted shortly before their membership is due to expire and will then switch to the new membership system. We have retained a lower fee for residents of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and for students, and have extended the lower fee benefit to early career researchers, i.e. those who have graduated within the past four years. The new fees, summarised in the table below, translate into lower fees per year of membership than the previous fees of $55 p.a. for LMIC residents and students and $85 p.a. for other individual members. The registration fee for the Boston congress will be lower than for recent iHEA congresses; congress registration plus two-year membership will be lower than members previously paid for congress registration and a single year’s membership!


Membership Category

Two-year fee

Four-year fee

Individual Membership



Low-or Middle-Income Country Member



Student or Early Career Researcher


not available

University Membership



Organizational Membership



 University and organisational members receive similar benefits in terms of reduced membership fees and a discounted four-year membership option.

Not already an iHEA member? Click here to learn more and join online.

Stay Connected

Are you following iHEA on social media? Feel free to share our content with your networks! And, of course, be sure to keep in touch and tag us in any of your posts!




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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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