Friday, 27 April 2012

John Bates Clark Medal awarded

The winner of this year's AEA John Bates Clark Medal (as of 2010 awarded annually) is MIT economist Amy Finkelstein, for her contributions in the research on health insurance markets, in particular on "the presence of selection and asymmetric information in insurance markets."

The John Bates Clark Medal is the second most prestigious award in the field of economics. It is awarded only to American economists under the age of 40, who were already able to make a great contribution to the economics science. It is said to be a good predictor of future Nobel Prize winners. In fact, 12 Clark Medal winners  (out of 34) went on to become Nobel laureates (including Friedman, Samuelson, Arrow, Sollow, Tobin, Stiglitz, Spence, Krugman etc.). The average lag for these economists to win the Nobel Prize was 22 years. Among the non-winners stand out some impressive names like Acemoglu, Feldstein, Shleifer, Summers, Murphy, Grossman, Levitt or Saez, many of which carry a high probability of achieving the Nobel status. 

38-year-old Finkelstein is thought to be one of the leading scholars in health economics, a rapidly expanding field in the past few years. She is a micro-economist with a strong orientation on empirical and experimental research, focusing on policy-relevant issues such as the analysis of public intervention in health insurance markets.

WSJ summarizes her most prominent experimental research on health insurance:
"...she and other researchers tracked a group of low-income, uninsured adults in Oregon who were randomly picked to get — or not get — the chance to apply for public health insurance. Because it was a randomized controlled trial, the experiment sidestepped common pitfalls that researchers examining the effects of insurance face, including the tendency of sicker people — or unusually healthy people — to seek insurance.
The result: A year later, those selected by the lottery to be able to apply for Medicaid were more likely to have Medicaid, used more health care, had lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and reported better physical and mental health."
Read about the rest of her research here, or on her MIT webpage.

1 comment:

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