Unsustainable Health Economics

If you’re the score-keeping type and a fan of health economics, you might like the recent paper by Adam Wagstaff and Anthony Culyer, titled “Four decades of health economics through a bibliometric lens.” (An ungated working paper pdf is here.) It includes lists of the top health economics papers (300 of them), health economists (100), journals (100), and institutions (100) , and more, all ranked by a publication/citation-based metric of influence, generated from a database of 33,000 papers in the field from 1969-2010. Unsurprisingly, neither I nor my work are on them. Not even close. However, I am proud to say that one of my frequent co-authors, Roger Feldman, is number 18 among health economists. See if you can guess who’s at the top of the list.

Then there’s this frightening chart:

This is clearly unsustainable! Something must be done to stop the exponential growth of health economics. Even our peer field, education economics, has lower growth. I can only shake my head in shame sarcasm.

[Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]

Austin Frakt

Austin Frakt is a health economist and an assistant professor at Boston University's School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He blogs at The Incidental Economist.