Economics - General

Earnings of health economists

How much money do health economists make? Using a 2005 survey of about 1500 members of the International Health Economics Association (iHEA), Cawley and Morrisey (2007) attempt to answer this question in a paper release this month in the Journal of Health Economics.

For academic careers, the study finds the following mean earnings figures:

  Econ Ph.Ds Other doctoral degrees
  9 mo. 12 mo. 9 mo. 12 mo.
Assistant Prof 82,315 84,100 94,116 91,777
Associate Prof 91,847 108,428 96,167
Professor 150,645 171,357 105,000 135,600

The authors also compare their findings with those of other studies:

    Assist. Prof Assoc. Prof Professor
CM Econ Dept 81,367 88,692 137,789
AEA Econ Dept 71,112 79,806 101,652
CM Business School 110,561 135,305
AACSB Business School 73,924 78,576 107,732
CM School of Pub. Health 77,588 102,167 151,653
ASPH School of Pub. Health 77,439 97,387 136,576

CM stands for Cawley Morrisey; AEA stands for the American Economic Association Universal Academic questionnaire; AACSB stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and ASPH stands for the Association of School of Public Health.  The study also finds that 82% of health economists earn some consulting income (e.g.: book royalties, witness fees, etc.).  The mean consulting income is about $17,000, but this distribution is right-skewed so the median is only $6000.

Finally, the authors look at job offers for recent Economics PhD graduates who specialize in health care.

  9 mo. 12 mo.
Arts and Sciences 74,261 78,333
Business School 79,700 128,333
Public Health 65,100 77,793
Medicine 80,181
Government 72,621
Not-for-profit 79,444
For-profit 86,667