Brent Fulton, Associate Director

Open (1) Health Economics Research

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

There are four distinct studies that the student could be involved in (see below). I plan to work with 2-4 students. Please state which study(s) you are interested in.

A. Health behaviors, such as smoking, weight (bmi), etc. account for approximately 25% of health outcomes. This study will examine the share of these behaviors that is based on free choice versus genetic and environmental factors that influence free choice. Study will be of interest to those interested in determinism versus free choice debate.


B. Approximately 20,000 people are hospitalized each year in the United States for encephalitis. Isolating its cause can be challenging, because the infection’s source may be viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal. Next-generation DNA sequencing technologies using cerebrospinal fluid can identify the infectious agent. My portion of the study will estimate the cost impact and cost effectiveness of different entry criteria for the next-generation DNA sequencing technology to be used as a diagnostic test for meningitis and encephalitis cases. The cost effectiveness per quality-adjusted life year will be estimated using a decision tree, either deterministically or stochastically, to allow for random components. The overall study is located at UCSF. For more information, see https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/08/131341/new-center-will-advance-life-saving-genome-based-diagnostic-tools


C. Federal health insurance premium tax credits (i.e., subsidies) in the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces are not adjusted for cost-of-living differences across the United States. This study will estimate the number of additional people who could be insured for the same aggregate subsidy budget, if individual subsidies were adjusted for cost-of-living differences.


D. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ State Innovation Model (SIM) Initiative aims to stimulate a comprehensive approach to transforming states’ health care delivery systems. The study will estimate the impact of those reforms on preventing and managing diabetes. For more information, see http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/state-innovations/



The student will search for and summarize existing studies, and depending on skill level, do analyses and create tables and figures using excel.

The student's key learning outcome will be gaining a better understanding on how empirical research is conducted within health economics.

Qualifications: Required skills include the following: strong writing skills, proficiency in searching publication databases (e.g., PubMed, Google Scholar, etc.), proficiency in Microsoft Office. Desirable but not essential skills include the following: background in U.S. healthcare system and health economics, Endnote, Excel. Hours per week is 9-12, but would consider 6-9.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://sph.berkeley.edu/brent-fulton