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Arrow Award

iHEA’s Kenneth J. Arrow Award was created to recognize excellence in the field of health economics with the Award presented to the author(s) of the paper judged to be the best paper published in health economics in English in the award year. The Award was set up in honor of Kenneth Arrow and in recognition of the influence of his seminal paper from 1963 “Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care”. Professor Arrow was involved in the creation of the Award and he presented the inaugural prize in 1993.

The Award is made every year. Each year the Award committee consider a short-list of up to ten papers, with each paper evaluated by all of the committee members in terms of importance and originality of contribution, appropriateness and innovation in methodology and clarity of presentation.

The winner is presented with a plaque at the iHEA congress when held in the same year as the award, or at a special reception at the AEA conference in years when there is no iHEA congress.

Call for Submissions are now Closed for 2020!

Most recent Award Winners

Arrow Award Honors Research on Medical Mistrust and Mortality

The 27th Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to Marcella Alsan and Marianne Wanamaker for their paper “Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men” Quarterly Journal of Economics 133(1): 407-455, 2018.

The Arrow Award Committee is proud to acknowledge the authors of this innovative and informative paper, which examines the extent to which the infamous Tuskegee Study of untreated syphilis in black males reduced trust in the medical system and ultimately impeded the progress in reducing mortality for this group. A triple differences framework is used to compare changes by race (first difference), sex (second difference) and periods before and after public disclosure of the Tuskegee study (third difference), interacted with geographic proximity to Macon County Georgia, where the Tuskegee study took place, in the main specifications, and to the share of migrants originating in Alabama in additional estimates. Numerous robustness and placebo checks are included and information on an important channel for the effects is obtained through direct examination of measures of trust in doctors. The results provide robust evidence that disclosure of the Tuskegee Study undermined trust in the medical system with the strongest effects for those black males for whom the study was most salient. This led to reductions in the use of medical care and increases in mortality for the most affected group. Specifically, the estimates imply that life expectancy for 45-year old black men fell by up to 1.5 years, an amount sufficient to explain approximately one-third of the racial gap in life expectancy in 1980. We congratulate the authors on the publication of this important paper.

Marcella Alsan is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine and a Core Faculty Member at the Center for Health Policy / Primary Care and Outcomes Research. Alsan’s research focuses on the relationship between health and socioeconomic disparities with a focus on infectious disease. Another vein of research focuses on the microfoundations of antibiotic overuse and resistance. She received a BA degree in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard University, a master’s degree in international public health from Harvard School of Public Health, a medical degree from Loyola University, and a PhD in economics from Harvard University. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious disease. She trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, completing the Hiatt Global Health Equity Residency Fellowship in internal medicine. She combined her PhD with an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, prior to coming to Stanford. She currently is an infectious disease specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto.



Marianne H. Wanamaker is an associate professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee and Faculty Research Fellow at NBER. For the 2017-2018 academic year, she was on leave at the President's Council of Economic Advisers covering labor policy and serving as the chief domestic economist. She is also a Kinney Family Faculty Fellow, a Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Fellow, and the BB&T Scholar in Markets, Capitalism and Ethics in the Haslam College of Business. Her research interests include American economic history, education, demography and labor economics.  She teaches or has taught introductory economics and business ethics to the undergraduate population and business strategy for MBA students. She completed her doctoral work at Northwestern University in 2009, and has been on faculty at the University of Tennessee ever since.




Committee Membership 2020

Membership of the Arrow Award Committee is refreshed each year and members can serve for up to two three-year terms.

Chair: Luigi Siciliani, University of York, UK
Co-Chair: Tor Iversen, University of Oslo, Norway


Term Expires at the end of 2020:

* Jonathan Kolstad, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Manoj Mohanan, Duke University, USA
Heidi Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
* Joachim Winter,  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
* Winnie Yip, Harvard University, USA


Term Expires at the end of 2021:

* Jeffrey Clemens, University of California San Diego, USA
Luke Connelly, University of Queensland, Australia
Karine Lamiraud, ESSEC, France
Peter Smith, Imperial College, UK


Term Expires at the end of 2022:

Marcella Alsan, Harvard University, USA
Marika Cabral, University of Texas, USA
* Joan Costa-i-Font, London School of Economics, UK
* Rodrigo R. Soares, Columbia University, USA
Mark Stabile, INSEAD, France
Erin Strumpf, McGill University, Canada

(* = 2nd and final term)



Winning Paper



Marika Cabral. 2017. Claim Timing and Ex Post Adverse Selection. Review of Economics Studies 84(1): 1-44.



Martin Gaynor, Carol Propper, and Stephan Seiler. 2016. Free to choose? Reform, choice and considerationsets in the English National Health Service.American Economic Review106(11): 3521-3557.



Eric Budish, Benjamin N. Roin and Heidi Williams. 2015. Do firms underinvest in long-term research? Evidence from cancer clinical trials.American Economic Review105(7): 2044-2085.



Jeffrey Clemens and Joshua D. Gottlieb. 2014. Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Treatment Patterns and Patient Health? American Economic Review104(4): 1320-49.



Jonathan T. Kolstad. 2013. Information and quality when motivation is intrinsic: evidence from surgeon report cards.American Economic Review,103(7):2875-2910.



Amy Finkelstein, Sarah Taubman, Bill Wright, Mira Bernstein, Jonathan Gruber, Joseph P. Newhouse, Heidi Allen, Katherine Baicker, and the Oregon Health Study Group. 2012. The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year.Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(3):1057-1106



Randall D. Cebul, James B. Rebitzer, Lowell J. Taylor, Mark E. Votruba. 2011. Unhealthy Insurance Markets: Search Frictions and the Cost and Quality of Health Insurance.American Economic Review,101(5):1842-71



Carol Propper and John Van Reenen. 2010. Can pay regulation kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labor Markets on Hospital Performance.Journal of Political Economy, 118(2): 222-273



Kate Ho. 2009. Insurer-Provider Networks in the Medical Care Market.American Economic Review,99(1):393-430



Hanming Fang, Michael P. Keane, and Dan Silverman. 2008. Sources of Advantageous Selection: Evidence from the Medigap Insurance Market.Journal of Political Economy, 116(2): 303-350.



Amitabh Chandra and Doug Staiger. 2007. Productivity Spillovers in Health Care: Evidence from the Treatment of Heart Attacks.Journal of Political Economy, 115: 103-140.



Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel. 2006. The Value of Health and Longevity. Journal of PoliticalEconomy, 114(5): 871-904.



Gary S. Becker, Tomas J. Philipson, and Rodrigo R. Soares. 2005. The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality.American Economic Review, 95(1):277-291



Edward Miguel and Michael Kremer. 2004. Worms: Identifying impacts on education and health in the presence of treatment externalities.Econometrica, 72(1); 159-217.



Kenneth Chay and Michael Greenstone. 2003. The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession.Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(3):1121-1167.



Anne Case, Darren Lubotsky and Christina Paxson. 2002. Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient.American Economic Review;92(5): 1308-1334.



Willard G. Manning and John Mullahy. 2001. Estimating Log Models: To Transform or Not to Transform?Journal of Health Economics, 20(4): 461–494



David M. Cutler, Mark McClellan and Joseph P. Newhouse. 2000. How Does Managed Care Do It?Rand Journal of Economics, 31(3): 526–548



Will Dow, Tomas J. Philipson and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. 1999. Longevity Complementarities Under Competing Risks.American Economic Review,89(5):1358-1371.



Donna B. Gilleskie. 1998. A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence.Econometrica, 66(1): 1-45.



Ching-To Albert Ma and Thomas G. McGuire. 1997. Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment.American Economic Review,87(4): 685-704.



Daniel Kessler and Mark McClellan. 1996. Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(2): 353-390.



Martin Gaynor and Paul Gertler. 1995. Moral Hazard and Risk Spreading in Partnerships.RAND Journal of Economics, 26(4): 591-613.



Jonathan Gruber. 1994. The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits.American Economic Review, 84(3): 622-641



Phillip Cook and Michael Moore. 1993. Drinking and schooling.Journal of Health Economics, 12(4): 411-429.



Richard Hirth. 1992. Nursing Home Quality: Roles of Information and Ownership (Unpublished paper)


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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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