How to contact us

Teri Dunn
Programme Executive

Methods Summer Programme
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6422

Register your interest here

ME416 Evidence Based Health Economics

15_1276 Methods images 475x213_3largehorizontal

Applications are now open! Click here to apply

This course provides an introduction and practical overview of the most common ways in which statistical evidence can inform health policy. Specifically the course covers:

  1. The ‘evaluation’ problem – why it is difficult to establish the effects of interventions from observational data
  2. The main approaches available to solve the evaluation problem and allow for causal inference: lab experiments, field experiments, natural experiments, linear regression techniques, fixed effects models, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design and difference-in-differences design.
  3. Introduction to the main methods used in economic evaluation – cost minimization analysis, cost utility analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and cost utility analysis
  4. Ways to calculate Quality Adjusted Life Years Gained
  5. Calculating costs in cost effectiveness analysis

For each topic, we will discuss basic intuitions, underlying assumptions and relative advantages and disadvantages of any choices made. In the seminars we will critically discuss literature that uses each method. The course aims to equip its participants with a knowledge base that allows them to be familiar with the main methods used in economic evaluation and applied econometrics to inform health policy.

Course benefits
After successful completion of this course participants will:

  • Have a knowledge of the main methods used in health economics to inform health policy. 
  • Have a skill set to participate in economic evaluation or consultancy.
  • Be able to critically assess research design
  • Be able to interpret statistical output.
  • Be able to clearly distinguish between association and causality and see the value of both.
  • Have the tools to distinguish between high quality and low quality research in health policy

Participants should have some professional experience working in careers that involve health economics, health policy or management. This course is also suitable for high-level students who are studying in one of the above areas. No background in health economics is necessary. 

A growth in evidence-based medicine has meant that an ability to understand the methods that health economists use to provide this evidence is becoming increasingly important. Research varies in quality and it is essential that individuals who make decisions based on economic evaluation and statistical models understand how to question and comment on the output. Therefore, this course aims to provide an overview of the dominant methods used in economic evaluation.

Participants will begin by fully appreciating the ‘evaluation problem’ and learn techniques that can help them achieve causal inference. The value of research that focuses on conditional estimates will also be discussed. The course will consider the advantages and disadvantages of lab and field experiments. Additionally, the following empirical methods will be covered: linear regression techniques, fixed effects models, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design and difference and difference design.  Students will appreciate how these techniques can be used to determine ‘what works’ in health policy and how they relate to effects in economic evaluation. For each method participants will gain an insight into the underlying assumptions as well as their relative strength and weaknesses. Students will next be introduced to the dominant techniques in economic evaluation, namely; cost minimization analysis, cost utility analysis, cost effectiveness analysis and cost utility analysis. Students will become aware of the context in which each method is appropriate. We will also discuss the Quality Adjusted Life Years with a particular emphasis on the methods used to calculate this outcome measure. The course will close with a discussion of the calculation of costs in economic evaluation. We will cover the costs that should be included, opportunity costs and discounting. The seminars will complement the lectures by drawing on literature that relates to the topics covered in the lecture. Students will have an opportunity for group discussions, presentations and debate.   The seminars will also place emphasis on the correct interpretation of statistical output.

Main text
Angrist, Joshua David, and Jörn-Steffen Pischke. (2015) Mastering 'metrics: The Path From Cause to Effect.

A two-hour open book exam on the final day that will assess the curriculum covered in this course.

Dr Grace Lordan is an associate professor in health economics at the LSE. She has published widely in the top journals of health economics, and is particularly interested in economic evaluation and the careful interpretation of empirical results. She has over ten years experience teaching postgraduate students. Dr Grace Lordan is also the director of the Health Economics, Policy and Management (HEPM) executive masters at the LSE. This is a masters offered to individuals with more than five years professional work experience and from this she has become particularly skillful at teaching executive students. To learn more about Dr Grace Lordan’s teaching or research please visit 

Please note: A full timetable will be provided at registration on Monday 21 August. The below timetables contain approximate hours only.

  Tu  Th   F
 Morning session  2.5 2.5  2.5 2.5 2.5
 Afternoon session  2 2 2 2 Exam
2016 box image

Course details

21 - 25 August 2017

Lectures, practical classes

2-hour examination (optional)

LSE's Central London Campus

Teaching faculty
Grace Lordan
Department of Social Policy

2017 Tuition fees
Student rate: £975
Academic staff/charity rate: £1,450
Professional rate: £1,825

15_1276 Methods images 238x1055small

You may also be interested in...
Intermediate Econometrics (14 - 25 August 2017)