IHEA has three awards:

  • The Adam Wagstaff Award for Outstanding Research on the Economics of Healthcare Financing and Delivery in Low- and Middle-Income Countries;
  • The Arrow Award for the best published health economics paper; and
  • The Student Paper Prize for the best paper by a Masters or Doctoral student.

Adam Wagstaff

3 May 1959 – 10 May 2020
IHEA President 2016 – 2017

This award was established by colleagues and friends in memory of Adam Wagstaff and was funded through ‘Friends of Adam’ crowdfunding. The prize is awarded to the best IHEA congress paper on the economics of healthcare financing or delivery in a low- or middle-income country(ies) (LMIC) that is written and presented by a researcher from a LMIC. It reflects Adam’s lifelong commitment to these issues and to promoting equity in LMICs.

About the Adam Wagstaff Award

  • This award is intended for early career researchers (ECRs)/recent graduates, not those currently studying. Students are encouraged to submit an entry for the annual IHEA Student Paper Prize.
  • To be considered for the Adam Wagstaff Award, the ECR must have an abstract accepted for oral presentation at the IHEA congress. You must indicate your interest in being considered for this award during the abstract submission process.
  • The paper must focus on the economics of healthcare financing or delivery in a LMIC (this can include a country defined by the World Bank as a middle-income country until not more than a year ago, that is now classified as a high-income country). The research should be policy-relevant in that it should provide insights into how to improve healthcare financing or delivery. Papers with an equity focus are encouraged.
  • The first author of the paper (or corresponding author where authors are listed alphabetically) and presenter at the congress must be a citizen of a LMIC (using the World Bank country income classification). Co-authors on the paper are not restricted to LMIC citizens.
  • The main author and presenter at the congress must have submitted their doctorate or have completed their doctorate within the last 7 full-time equivalent years.
  • To be considered for the award, a full paper must be available three months before the congress and be submitted with a personal statement of 500 words outlining your future career plans at the time of application.
  • Submitters should be willing to commit to contributing to health economics in LMICs if they win this award. This could take the form of mentoring researchers with very limited experience, co-supervising a (post-)graduate student, serving on the Award Committee in future, or related activity, depending on the skills and preferences of the Awardee.

Can I submit a paper that analyses global data, so includes low-, middle- and high-income countries?  No, only papers that have a specific focus on LMICs will be considered.

Can a paper that considers theoretical or methodological issues be submitted?  Usually not, unless there is a very specific focus on LMICs (e.g. development of an innovative methodology for health care financing or delivery research to address data constraints in LMICs).

Can an economic evaluation paper be submitted?  Generally not. As the focus of the award is on the economics of health care financing or delivery, only economic evaluations that compare alternative service delivery options and/or include a budget impact analysis of services that address a major burden of disease in LMICs will be considered. Papers that focus purely on the effectiveness of health care interventions or an economic evaluation of a very specific clinical intervention are not eligible.

If I graduated 8 or 9 years ago, but had maternity leave and worked part-time for a year afterwards, will my paper be considered?  Yes, as long as the full-time equivalent working period after graduation is no longer than 7 years at the time of application.

If I am a citizen of a LMIC, but am currently living and working in a high-income country, will my paper be considered?  Yes, as long as the paper focuses on LMICs and your intention is to continue undertaking research focused on LMICs.

Those from a low- or middle-income country with an accepted abstract, on the economics of healthcare financing or delivery in a LMIC, for the next IHEA congress will be invited to submit a full paper for review by the selection committee three months prior to the congress. The selection criteria are comparable to those used for the Arrow Award and the Student Prize, which focus on the importance of the contribution of the paper and appropriateness and innovation in methodology.

The award includes a certificate and a cash prize, which will be presented during one of the plenary sessions of the congress. The session in which the award-winning paper is presented will be highlighted as a special session and the presentation will be followed by discussant input. In addition, the winner will be invited to present at the World Bank’s Health Finance Forum.

Lucy Xiaolu Wang

Procurement Institutions and Essential Drug Supply in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Lucy Xiaolu Wang is a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a Faculty Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Germany, and a Faculty Associate at the Canadian Centre for Health Economics. Her research focuses on the economics of innovation & digitization in health care markets (national and global), particularly in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and digital health industries. Dr. Wang earned her Ph.D. in economics at Cornell University, her M.A. in economics at Duke University, and her B.A. in economics (specialty: insurance) at Central University of Finance and Economics in China.

As an early career scholar who originated from a small city in China, Dr. Wang aims to better understand and improve healthcare financing, delivery, technological innovation, and access in LMIC (Low and Middle-Income Countries/Country). Specifically, she works on two lines of research centering on LMIC healthcare.

First, the performance of novel institutions in improving healthcare financing and delivery. Dr. Wang has published work and ongoing projects examining the effectiveness of the Medicines Patent Pool as a joint licensing organization in facilitating generic drug diffusion and spillover effects on upstream innovation. She also investigates the role of procurement institutions and essential drug supply in LMIC with a complementary analytical angle.

Second, Dr. Wang studies health care technological innovation and digitization. Dr. Wang has ongoing research projects on digital interventions in the health sectors with LMIC country cases and policy discussions. She also works on understanding the current drug patent reforms in China.

Members of the initial Award Committee were selected to include at least one close colleague of Adam's from long-term collaborative research projects; at least one of Adam's colleagues from the World Bank with expertise in this sub-field; and at least one researcher with expertise in the sub-field who is based in or affiliated with a LMIC institution. The Committee members, in alphabetical order, are:

John Ataguba, University of Cape Town

Edwine Barasa, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Damien de Walque, World Bank

Anne Mills, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Aparnaa Somanathan, World Bank

Eddy van Doorslaer, Erasmus University

Winnie Yip, Harvard University

Funds raised through ‘Friends of Adam’ crowdfunding are ring-fenced for this award, with auditing and IHEA Board oversight of revenue and expenditure as for all IHEA finances. In addition, there will be biennial reporting to the Award selection committee for additional oversight.

We would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of the following individuals and groups, as well as several anonymous contributors, towards this Award:

Ronald Akehurst, Sarah Alkenbrack, Elaine Baruwa, Marcel Bilger, Caryn Bredenkamp, Terkel Christiansen, Jorge Coarasa, Daniel Cotlear, Agnes Couffinhal, Damien de Walque, Tim Ensor, Patrick Eozenou, Tim Evans, Deon Filmer, Emanuela Galasso, John Giles, Karen Grépin, Mutsa Gumbi, Reem Hafez, Emmanuel Jimenez, Andrew Jones, Eeshani Kandpal, Beth & Mead King Over, Felicia Knaul, Joseph Kutzin, Soonman Kwon, Gabriel Leung, Elisa Liberatori Prati, Jui-fen Rachel Lu, Di McIntyre, David McKenzie, Owen O'Donnell, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Kjeld Pedersen, Eugenio Prati, Stella Quimbo, Marisol Rodriguez, Miriam Schneidman, Gil Shapira, Richard Smith, Peter Smith, Sally Stearns, Sandy Tubeuf, UPSE Health Econ Lab, Eddy Van Doorslaer, Tom Van Ourti, Marcos Vera-Hernandez, Michael Woolcock, Vasoontara, Yiengprugsawan, and Winnie Yip

Giancarlo Buitrago, The Effect of Outpatient Cost-Sharing on Population-Level Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Design Evidence from Colombia


Radhika Jain, Private Hospital Behavior Under Government Health Insurance in India

Kenneth J. Arrow

23 August 1921 – 21 February 2017

This annual award was established in honor of Kenneth Arrow and in recognition of the influence of his seminal paper from 1963 “Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care”. It recognizes excellence in the field of health economics, with the award presented to the author(s) of the paper judged to be the best paper published in health economics in English in the award year.

About the Arrow Award

A public call for nominations is issued by IHEA. The award committee considers a short-list of up to ten papers, with each paper evaluated by all of the committee members in terms of importance and originality of contribution, appropriateness and innovation in methodology and clarity of presentation.

Sendhil Mullainathan

University of Chicago Booth

Ziad Obermeyer

University of California, Berkeley

The Arrow Award Committee proudly recognizes the authors of this innovative paper, which uses machine learning to study decision making in healthcare. The authors focus on how physicians diagnose heart attack. Using an algorithmic model to predict a patient’s probability of experiencing a heart attack, the authors identify instances where a physician’s testing decisions deviate from the predicted risk. 

The study reveals that physicians both undertest and overtest. From a natural experiment they find that inefficiencies cannot be explained by incentives alone and point to systematic errors in judgement. The authors find that physicians tend to use a simplistic risk model and overweight factors that are salient or representative of heart attack, such as chest pain. The authors argue that health care models should account for physician error, as focusing solely on incentives can produce large inefficiencies. The conclusion has broad implications for understanding physician decision-making and modeling physician behavior in health economics research. 

We congratulate the authors on the publication of this important paper.  

Chair: Tor Iversen, University of Oslo

Co-Chair: Yuting Zhang, University of Melbourne

Marcella Alsan, Harvard University

Marika Cabral, University of Texas

Luke Connelly, University of Queensland

Karine Lamiraud, ESSEC

Hsienming Lien, National Chengchi University

Manoj Mohanan, Duke University

Edward Okeke, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Mark Stabile, INSEAD

Erin Strumpf, McGill University

Judit Vall Castelló, Universitat de Barcelona

Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Bristol University

Heidi Williams, Stanford University

Nava Ashraf, Oriana Bandiera, Edward Davenport, and Scott S. Lee, 2020. "Losing Prosociality in the Quest for Talent? Sorting, Selection, and Productivity in the Delivery of Public Services" American Economic Review, 110(5): 1355–1394. 

Tatyana Deryugina, Garth Heutel, Nolan H. Miller, David Molitor, and Julian Reif, 2019. The Mortality and Medical Costs of Air Pollution: Evidence from Changes in Wind Direction. American Economic Review , 109 (12): 4178-4219.  DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180279.

Marcella Alsan and Marianne Wanamaker. Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men. Quarterly Journal of Economics133(1): 407-455, 2018.

Marika Cabral. 2017. Claim Timing and Ex Post Adverse Selection. Review of Economics Studies84(1): 1-44.

Martin Gaynor, Carol Propper, and Stephan Seiler. 2016. Free to choose? Reform, choice and consideration sets in the English National Health Service. American Economic Review106(11): 3521-3557.

Eric Budish, Benjamin N. Roin and Heidi Williams. 2015. Do firms underinvest in long-term research? Evidence from cancer clinical trials. American Economic Review105(7): 2044-2085.

Jeffrey Clemens and Joshua D. Gottlieb. 2014. Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Treatment Patterns and Patient Health? American Economic Review104(4): 1320-49.

Jonathan T. Kolstad. 2013. Information and quality when motivation is intrinsic: evidence from surgeon report cards. American Economic Review,103(7):2875-2910.

Amy Finkelstein, Sarah Taubman, Bill Wright, Mira Bernstein, Jonathan Gruber, Joseph P. Newhouse, Heidi Allen, Katherine Baicker, and the Oregon Health Study Group. 2012. The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(3):1057-1106

Randall D. Cebul, James B. Rebitzer, Lowell J. Taylor, Mark E. Votruba. 2011. Unhealthy Insurance Markets: Search Frictions and the Cost and Quality of Health Insurance. American Economic Review,101(5):1842-71

Carol Propper and John Van Reenen. 2010. Can pay regulation kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labor Markets on Hospital Performance. Journal of Political Economy, 118(2): 222-273

Kate Ho. 2009. Insurer-Provider Networks in the Medical Care Market. American Economic Review,99(1):393-430

Hanming Fang, Michael P. Keane, and Dan Silverman. 2008. Sources of Advantageous Selection: Evidence from the Medigap Insurance Market. Journal of Political Economy, 116(2): 303-350.

Amitabh Chandra and Doug Staiger. 2007. Productivity Spillovers in Health Care: Evidence from the Treatment of Heart Attacks. Journal of Political Economy, 115: 103-140.

Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel. 2006. The Value of Health and Longevity. Journal of PoliticalEconomy, 114(5): 871-904.

Gary S. Becker, Tomas J. Philipson, and Rodrigo R. Soares. 2005. The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality. American Economic Review, 95(1):277-291

Edward Miguel and Michael Kremer. 2004. Worms: Identifying impacts on education and health in the presence of treatment externalities. Econometrica, 72(1); 159-217.

Kenneth Chay and Michael Greenstone. 2003. The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(3):1121-1167.

Anne Case, Darren Lubotsky and Christina Paxson. 2002. Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient. American Economic Review;92(5): 1308-1334.

Willard G. Manning and John Mullahy. 2001. Estimating Log Models: To Transform or Not to Transform? Journal of Health Economics, 20(4): 461–494

David M. Cutler, Mark McClellan and Joseph P. Newhouse. 2000. How Does Managed Care Do It? Rand Journal of Economics, 31(3): 526–548

Will Dow, Tomas J. Philipson and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. 1999. Longevity Complementarities Under Competing Risks. American Economic Review,89(5):1358-1371.

Donna B. Gilleskie. 1998. A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence. Econometrica, 66(1): 1-45.

Ching-To Albert Ma and Thomas G. McGuire. 1997. Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment. American Economic Review,87(4): 685-704.

Daniel Kessler and Mark McClellan. 1996. Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(2): 353-390.

Martin Gaynor and Paul Gertler. 1995. Moral Hazard and Risk Spreading in Partnerships. RAND Journal of Economics, 26(4): 591-613.

Jonathan Gruber. 1994. The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits. American Economic Review, 84(3): 622-641

Phillip Cook and Michael Moore. 1993. Drinking and schooling. Journal of Health Economics, 12(4): 411-429.

Richard Hirth. 1992. Nursing Home Quality: Roles of Information and Ownership (Unpublished paper)

Student Paper Prize

The annual IHEA Student Paper Prize is to recognize excellence by students in the field of health economics and is awarded to the Masters or Doctoral student paper judged as best in the award year.

The deadline for submissions for the 2023 Student Paper Prize has now passed, thank you to all who participated.

About the Student Paper Prize

  • Applicants must currently be studying (full or part time) at a higher education institution, at either Masters or Doctoral level. In addition, students who completed their studies in the year previous to the call for submissions qualify, as long as the paper was written while registered as a student.
  • Papers can be published or unpublished, but must be in comparable format to a published paper in Journal of Health Economics or Health Economics, of maximum length 8,000 words. 
  • Papers should be in English.
  • If a submitted paper has more than one author, the student contribution must be at least 75% overall and an accompanying letter must be signed by co-authors to support this, stating the nature of their contribution (conceptualization, analysis, writing etc.). A joint student paper with 50-50 contributions is acceptable.
  • Previous winners are not eligible.

Each year the Committee will consider a short list of submitted papers evaluated by all of the committee members using similar criteria to that of the Arrow Award.

Nominations for the  Student Paper Prize generally open in September and close around mid-January.  Please see eligibility criteria for paper format details and related information.  The submission should be accompanied by a brief letter providing information to confirm eligibility (250 words maximum).

The Prize will be complimentary registration for the next IHEA Congress to present the paper in a Special Organised Session, a cash prize and the offer (if the author wishes, and the paper is unpublished) of potential fast track publication in Health Economics, subject to Editorial approval. The papers in 2nd and 3rd place will receive a small cash prize and complimentary registration for the next IHEA Congress. They will be invited to give brief presentations at the IHEA Congress Student Paper Prize Special Organized Session. All prize winners will also receive a certificate.

The 2023 Student Paper First Prize was awarded to:

Yashaswini Singh

Johns Hopkins University
“Can Private Equity Buy Referrals? Evidence from Multispecialty Physician Practice Acquisitions”

Multispecialty physician practices (MSP) incentivize referrals from generalists to specialists within the same practice.  This research found that private Equity (PE) acquisitions of MSP increase referrals within the practice, largely due to the adoption of PE’s managerial strategies.  It also explored the implications for patient welfare.

Honorable mentions go to the two runners up

Vera Zabrodina

“Timing Moral Hazard under Deductibles in Health Insurance”

The paper develops a novel approach to examine the extent to which individuals strategically time their healthcare consumption under deductibles in health insurance. 

Benedikt Janzen

“Temperature and Mental Health: Evidence from Helpline Calls”

This paper examined the negative effect of temperature extremes on mental health, reflected in an increase in the demand for telephone counselling services in Germany.

The prize winners are expected to present their papers at a special session of the 2023 IHEA Congress in Cape Town. Many thanks to all those who submitted papers for consideration, and to the Prize Committee for all their hard work.

The Student Prize is sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Health Economics.

Chair: Tinna Asgeirsdottir, University of Iceland

Mehdi Ammi, Carleton University

Monica Aswani, University of Alabama

Ronelle Burger, Stellenbosch University

Toshiaki Iizuka, University of Tokyo

Emily Lancsar, Australian National University

Shiko Maruyama, Jinan University, Guangzhou

Jacob Novignon, Kwame Nkrumah University

Alfredo Paloyo, University of Wollongong

Timothy Powell-Jackson, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

William Schpero, Cornell University

Peter Sivey, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Raf van Gestel, Erasmus University

Henry Cust, LSHTM, "Trading HIV for Sheep: An estimation of the sexual behaviours response of female sex workers to Tabaski in Senegal”


Hanifa Pilvar, Queen Mary University of London, “Changing physicians’ incentives to control the C-section rate: Evidence from a major health care reform in Iran”

Domininkas Mockus, University of Illinois, “The Effect of Immigration on the Living Arrangements of Elderly Natives”

Elaine De Gruyter, Monash University. Altruism born of suffering? The impact of an adverse health shock on pro-social behaviour.

Jill  Furzer, University of Toronto. ADHD Misidentification in school: Causes and mitigators.


William Schpero, Cornell University. The long run effect of Medicaid on receipt of public assistance.

Monica Aswani, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Differential Impact of Hospital and Community Factors on Medicare Readmission Penalties.

Mujaheed Shaikh and Tobias Muller (Austria/Switzerland),Your retirement and my health behavior: Evidence on retirement externalities from a fuzzy regression discontinuity design.

Raf Van Gestel, University of Antwerp, and Tobias Müller, University of Lucerne, Does My High Blood Pressure Improve Your Survival? Overall and Subgroup Learning Curves in Health.

Joseph Dieleman, IHME, University of Washington, Measuring the displacement and replacement of government health expenditure.

Ranjeeta Thomas, University of York, Conditional cash transfers to improve education and health: an ex ante evaluation of Red de Protección Social, Nicaragua

Pedro Rosa Dias, University of York. Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study.

Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, University of Bristol, Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?

Teresa Bago d’Uva, University of York, Latent class models for utilization of health care.

Paula Gonzalez, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Should physicians’ dual practice be limited? An incentive approach.

Nazmi Sari, Boston University, Do managed care and competition improve quality? Evidence from US hospital markets.

Mathias Kifmann, Universität Konstanz, Community rating in health insurance and different benefit packages.