Economic Analysis

In low- and middle-income countries, resources for health care can be scarce and difficult decisions must be made about how to allocate available funds, people, and infrastructure. Understanding the cost, benefit, and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions is a high priority.

Our core group of economists—along with students and staff—use the tools of microeconomics and program evaluation to generate policy and program-relevant guidance for governments, donors, and other stakeholders. The topics we address range from the cost of new diagnostic tests and cost-effectiveness of alternative drug regimens to national budgetary requirements for health care interventions. We also use economics to understand decisions made by individuals, households, and organizations; the underlying incentives leading to such decisions; and the implications of these decisions on health and welfare. We focus on applied research and evaluation, with a heavy emphasis on primary data collection from patient medical records, household surveys, and organizational records. We also emphasize clear and practical reporting of results, so that research findings can readily be used to improve policies and practices. Overseas, we collaborate with local partners that include the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) of Wits University in South Africa, BU’s own Zambia Center for Applied Health Research & Development (ZCAHRD), the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and international and local nongovernmental organizations.