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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.

Most recent Award Winners

Arrow Award Honors Research on Mortality and Medical Costs of Air Pollution

The 28th Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics is awarded to Tatyana Deryugina, Garth Heutel, Nolan H. Miller, David Molitor, and Julian Reif. 2019. "The Mortality and Medical Costs of Air Pollution: Evidence from Changes in Wind Direction." American Economic Review, 109 (12): 4178-4219.  DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180279.

The Arrow Award Committee is proud to acknowledge the authors of this innovative, timely and informative paper on the effect of pollution on health. In more detail, the study examines the causal effects of air pollution (exposure to acute fine particulate matter, PM 2.5) on mortality, health care use, and medical costs among the elderly population in the US.  The authors make creative use of instrumental variables by instrumenting air pollution with changes in local wind direction, and develop a new approach based on machine learning to estimate the life-years lost due to pollution exposure.  The authors find that higher air pollution, as measured by a 1 microgram per cubic meter (10 percent of the mean) increase in PM 2.5 exposure for one day, causes 0.69 additional deaths per million of elderly individuals over a three-day window, and causes the loss of about 3 life-years per million beneficiaries. The mortality effects are concentrated in about 25 percent of the elderly population. The same increase in air pollution also increases emergency room visits by 2.7 per million beneficiaries and inpatient emergency room spending by over $16,000 per million. The estimates on mortality are substantially higher than those reported in previous literature. The results are robust to extending the time window over which to measure mortality from 3 days to 5, 14, or 28 days, suggesting that the main results are not due to short-term mortality displacement. The findings have important implications for both environmental and health policy. We congratulate the authors on the publication of this important paper.


Tatyana Deryugina is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Illinois. Her research focuses on various aspects of environmental risk. She has studied the economic and health costs of both natural and man-made environmental shocks, including air pollution, hurricanes, and climate change. Professor Deryugina holds a PhD in Economics from MIT, a BA in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley, and a BS in Environmental Economics and Policy from UC Berkeley. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at NBER, a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and a Faculty Affiliate of the E2e Project.



Garth Heutel is an Associate Professor of Economics in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He studies energy and environmental policy, behavioral economics, public economics, and the economics of nonprofit organizations.  His research has been published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, The Economic Journal, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and elsewhere. He earned his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, and he was previously a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University.







Nolan Miller is the Daniel and Cynthia Mah Helle Professor in Finance and Director of the Center for Business and Public Policy at Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research covers a wide range of topics in microeconomics, including economic theory, health economics, environmental economics, and development economics. Miller’s recent research has focused on a project funded by the National Institute on Aging that examines the relationship between environmental factors, health, and health care use using Medicare administrative data. Prior to coming to Gies in 2009, Miller was on the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Science from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and bachelor’s degrees in business and philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.






David Molitor is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics at the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Molitor’s research explores how location and the environment shape population health and health care delivery in the United States. He is also a Principal Investigator of the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study, a large-scale field experiment of workplace wellness conducted at the University of Illinois. At the Gies College of Business, he teaches students how to distinguish between correlation and causation and to use data to make better decisions. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in math and economics from the University of Minnesota.







Julian Reif is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Scholar at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He is an applied microeconomist who focuses on health policy evaluation and the value of health and longevity. His work has investigated the health and medical spending effects of air pollution, the health and drug utilization effects of Medicare Part D, the effectiveness of workplace wellness programs, and the value of medical innovation. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago and his BA from Vanderbilt University. Prior to receiving his PhD, he worked as a Senior Consultant at Bates White.






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



Marcella Alsan and Marianne Wanamaker. Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men. Quarterly Journal of Economics133(1): 407-455, 2018.



Marika Cabral. 2017. Claim Timing and Ex Post Adverse Selection.Review of Economics Studies84(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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