Will Manning Memorial Lecture

The Will Manning Memorial Lecture

On November 25, 2014, the world of health economics lost one of its most distinguished members, Willard (Will) Manning.  For most of the prior 15 years, Will Manning was a professor in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the Department of  Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago.  Before his arrival in Chicago, he served in positions at University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Harvard University, and the RAND Corporation.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in 1973.  His career was marked by extraordinary contributions in scholarship, service, and mentorship. 

Will Manning published more than 150 articles and several books, resulting in more than 11,000 citations.  Will first made his mark on the field with his work on the RAND Health Insurance Experiment.  His AER article resulting from that work (Manning et al., 1987) is still relevant and has been cited more than 700 times.  Subsequently, he made substantial scholarly contributions to the field of health economics across several broad areas:  health insurance, health econometrics, mental health, and health behaviors.  A key to the wide and deep impact of his work was his attention to both the methodological rigor and the institutional realities and real-world impact of the issues he studied.  He exhibited a deep and abiding commitment to improving public health and especially health care for vulnerable populations. 

In recognition of his scholarly contributions, Will Manning received some of the most high-profile awards in the profession:  the 2009 AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator Award, the 2010 Victor Fuchs Lifetime Achievement Award from ASHE, IHEA’s Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics in 2001, Article of the Year Award from AcademyHealth’s predecessor in 1990 and 1993, and membership in the Institute of Medicine starting in 1995.

The field of health economics will be forever grateful for the time Will Manning devoted to advancing research and the training of so many of its participants.

Upcoming Lecture

Empirical Strategies for Models of Multidimensional Health Outcomes
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Program: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Reception to follow
860 E. 59th St. | Medical Center CLI L107
RSVP here

Abstract: This lecture will provide an overview of and some detailed results on econometric approaches to modeling multidimensional health outcomes. The topics to be addressed include: rationales for modeling multidimensional health outcomes; modeling joint probabilities of multidimensional outcomes; models for dimension-reducing aggregates of multidimensional outcomes; and models for composite and co-primary endpoints. Computational considerations are assessed throughout. How Will Manning’s work addressed some of these topics will be considered.

mullahy2014_0.jpgJohn Mullahy, PhD, is an economist who specializes in health economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia and his B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University.  He did postdoctoral work in health economics at Yale University and at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mullahy is professor of Population Health Sciences, affiliate professor at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, and co-director of graduate training at the Center for Demography and Ecology.  He teaches and mentors in health economics, engaging students from a variety of campus units.  Mullahy is also an honorary professor of economics at NUI Galway and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  He currently serves as Co-Editor of Health Economics.  Mullahy was a founding board member of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon), the annual American Health Econometrics Workshop (AHEW), and the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS).

Mullahy's previous appointments were as an assistant/associate professor of Economics at Trinity College (CT), a lecturer in Economics, Public Health, and Organization and Management at Yale University, and a fellow at Resources for the Future.  He was also a visiting professor at the Geary Institute at University College Dublin in 2005 and 2011-2014.

Mullahy's research interests include the evaluation of health interventions, health outcomes, analysis of patterns of healthcare spending and costs, health-related behaviors and time use, and the applications of econometric methods to problems in health economics and health policy analysis.  His professional honors include being voted Outstanding Teacher in the Dept. of Population Health Sciences (2010) and being co-awardee, with Willard Manning, of the 2002 Kenneth J. Arrow Award of the International Health Economics Association for best paper published in health economics in 2001.

Past Lectures

Health Care Quality, Social Disparities, and Causality
Wednesday,  April 26,  2017

Program: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Reception to follow

860 E. 59th Street | Dora De Lee Auditorium, Billings L168

Abstract: Racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and regional disparities in healthcare are pervasive and well-established.  The theme of this talk is the interplay of descriptive, predictive, normative and causal considerations in analysis and action around disparities.  I will present an accepted definition of disparities and discuss its connection to values about equality of opportunity, and its implementation in descriptive analyses.  I next consider the role of care-providing “units” in disparities, distinguishing the interpretation of within- and between-unit effects.  Discussion of casemix adjustment leads to a focus on the current controversy over socioeconomic adjustment of hospital readmission measures.  Finally I will discuss the relationship of notions of causality engaged in the preceding topics to the “potential outcomes” school of causal inference.

Alan Zaslavsky_0.pngAlan M. Zaslavsky, PhD, is a professor of health care policy (statistics) in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. His methodological research interests include surveys, census methodology, microsimulation models, missing data, hierarchical modeling, small-area estimation, and applied Bayesian methodology. His health services research focuses primarily on developing methodology for quality measurement of health plans and providers and understanding the implications of these quality measurements.


An important part of his work concerns the development, implementation, and analysis of the Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey, a comprehensive program involving development of survey instruments for eliciting enrollee reports and ratings of their health plans, hospitals, provider groups and similar units and the care they receive through them, a standard analysis package, and methods for reporting results to potential enrollees and purchasers. As a statistical leader in the implementation of the CAHPS survey for the Medicare population, he has studied individual characteristics affecting responses to the survey, the main dimensions of quality measured by the survey, the contributions of the health plan and geographical location to CAHPS-measured quality, comparisons of traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Accountable Care Organizations, and risk selection among health plans.

He collaborates on analyses for the World Mental Health Surveys and for the Army STARRS study of suicides in the armed forces. Dr. Zaslavky's interests also include methodology for measuring racial and ethnic disparities in care and determing their causes, quality measurement for pediatric hospital care, and national opinion research on health policy issues.

Dr. Zaslavsky earned his BA from Harvard College, his master’s degree in statistics and computer science from Northeastern University, and his PhD in applied mathematics, with a specialty in statistics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and a national associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous panels on decennial census methodology, small-area estimation, measurement of race for health and health services research, and healthcare quality reporting for the Institute of Medicine and the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academy of Sciences, on which he has also served.