Professor, and Director of the Sloan program
2307, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, New York
Policy Analysis and Management
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs


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.

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.

Song, Minjae, Sean Nicholson, and Claudio Lucarelli, 2016, “Mergers with Inter-Firm Bundling: a Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails,” RAND Journal of Economics 48(3): 810-834.

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.

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

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.

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

PAM 5641, Health Information Technology

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

Director of the Sloan MHA Program in Health Administration.