Katherine Baicker

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Katherine Baicker
Born (1971-05-23) May 23, 1971 (age 46)
Nationality American
Institution Harvard University, University of Chicago
Field Health economics
Public economics
Alma mater Harvard University (Ph.D., 1998)
Yale University (B.A., 1993)

Katherine Baicker (born May 23, 1971) is an American economist and a professor of health economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.[1] In late March 2017 she was appointed to be the next dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.


She received her B.A. in Economics from Yale University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1998. She has served on the faculty of the UCLA School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles; Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago; the Economics Department at Dartmouth College; and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. She will become Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago effective August 15, 2017.

From 2005 to 2007, Baicker served as a Senate-confirmed Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she played a leading role in the development of health care policy. She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Health Affairs, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Forum for Health Economics and Policy; as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of AcademyHealth; on the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Health Advisers; and as a Commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. She is a Director at Eli Lilly.[2]


Her research areas include health economics, welfare, and public finance, with a particular focus on the financing of health insurance, spending on public programs, and fiscal federalism.

She believes in Medicare copayments as a way of reducing medical spending on unnecessary care. Copayments should be limited to a maximum patient contribution, to avoid patients having to pay catastrophic expenses that would defeat the purpose of insurance. Medicare clients should not have to buy supplemental insurance to avoid that risk. But copayments should be low for services that are effective at improving health.[3]

Her research has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and on National Public Radio. She is currently one of the leaders of a research program investigating the many effects of expanding health insurance coverage in the context of a randomized Medicaid expansion in Oregon.


She taught “American Economic Policy" course together with Martin Feldstein, Robert Stavins, and Robert Z. Lawrence at Harvard College and Harvard Kennedy School in Spring 2009.[4]

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