Brief Biography

Amanda Kowalski, the Gail Wilensky Professor of Applied Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Department of Economics, is a health economist who specializes in bringing together theoretical models and econometric techniques to answer questions that inform current debates in health policy.

Professor Kowalski’s recent research advances methods to analyze experiments and clinical trials with the goal of designing policies to target insurance expansions and medical treatments to individuals who will benefit from them the most. Applied to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, these methods show that among the individuals who entered a lottery for Medicaid, the individuals most likely to enroll in Medicaid were the individuals who had previously visited the emergency room the most. These individuals were also the most likely to increase their use of the emergency room upon gaining coverage. Her previous research has explored the impact of previous Medicaid expansions, the Affordable Care Act, the Massachusetts health reform of 2006, and employer-sponsored health insurance plans. She has also used cutting-edge techniques to estimate the value of medical spending on at-risk newborns.

Professor Kowalski has been honored with a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and the Yale Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research. Her research has received the HCUP Outstanding Article of the Year Award, the Garfield Economic Impact Award, the National Institute of Health Care Management Research Award, and the Zellner Thesis Award. The National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute have also supported her research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics. Her research has also been featured in the popular press, including The New York Times, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal.

Professor Kowalski is a Research Associate at the NBER. She holds a PhD in economics from MIT and an AB in economics from Harvard. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of Economics at the Yale Department of Economics. Before joining Yale, she held a post-doctoral fellowship in Health and Aging at the NBER. Her interest in health policy has led her to spend two years in Washington, DC, one as a research assistant in health and labor at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and another as the Okun Model Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She spent the 2015-2016 academic year as a Visiting Associate Professor at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and she spent the 2017-2018 academic year as a Visiting Associate Professor at the Princeton Department of Economics and as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Princeton Center for Health and Wellbeing.