Sean Nicholson


Sean Nicholson

Professor, and Director, Sloan program
2307, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 607-254-6498 Fax: 607-255-4071
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Sean is a professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) at Cornell University, the Director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Prior to joining the PAM Department in 2004, Sean was a faculty member in the Health Care Systems Department at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Sean worked for four years as a management consultant with APM and taught high school for two years before enrolling in graduate school. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1986 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997.

Current Professional Activities:

He is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Associate Editor of the journal Health Economics, and a Research Fellow at SFI, the Danish National Centre for Social Research, 2012-present.

Current Research Activities:

Sean is currently conducting research in three areas: the causes of regional variations in medical spending; the value of new medical technologies; and innovation in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


PhD 1997 - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics
MS 1995 - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics
BA 1986 - Dartmouth College, Economics

Courses Taught:

PAM 2350, The US Health Care System
PAM 5630, Health Care Financial Management II

Related Websites:

Advice for President Obama: An Economics Panel Discussion

Cornell economists offer reaction to the government's recent economic activity. This session was held on Feb. 19, 2009 at Kennedy Hall and was sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of Economics at Cornell (IAEC).

Administrative Responsibilities:

Director of the Sloan MHA Program in Health Administration.

Selected Publications:

Song, Minjae, Sean Nicholson, and Claudio Lucarelli, 2016, “Mergers with Inter-Firm Bundling: a Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails,” RAND Journal of Economics, forthcoming.

Epstein, Andrew J., Sean Nicholson, David A. Asch, 2016, “The Production of and Market for New Physicians’ Skill,” American Journal of Health Economics 2(1): 41-66.

Lakdawalla, Darius, Jason Shafrin, Claudio Lucarelli, Sean Nicholson, Zeba Khan, and Tomas Philipson, 2015, “Quality-Adjusted Cost of Care: a Meaningful Way to Measure Innovation Cost Growth Versus the Value of Health Gains,” Health Affairs 34(4): 555-561.

Asch, David A., Sean Nicholson, and Marko Vujicic, 2013, “Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market,” New England Journal of Medicine 369(21): 1973 - 1975.

Nicholson, Sean, and Carol Propper, 2012, “Medical Workforce,” in Handbook of Health Economics, Volume 2, edited by Mark Pauly, Thomas McGuire, and Pedro Pito Barros. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pages 873-925.

Danzon, Patricia M., and Sean Nicholson, editors, 2012. The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry. Oxford University Press.

Epstein, Andrew, Jonathan Ketcham, and Sean Nicholson, 2010, “Specialization and Matching in Professional Services Firms,” RAND Journal of Economics 41(4): 812-835.

Epstein, Andrew J., and Sean Nicholson, 2009, “The Formation and Evolution of Physician Treatment Styles: An Application to Caesarean Sections,” Journal of Health Economics 28: 1126-1140.

Selected Keywords:
Health economics, labor economics, IO.

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.