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A Global Currents Lecture and Discussion With


Reader in Health and Social Policy
London School of Economics and Political Science

Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
Peter B. Lewis Building – Room 202
11119 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106

Discussions of “health care reform” in the United States often cite other countries, especially the United Kingdom, as either examples of what to do or scare stories about why change is dangerous.

Yet those systems are not static, and in the past 25 years, few countries have seen as many rounds of reform as the United Kingdom. They range from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), beloved and totally misunderstood by U.S. reformers, through management by “targets and terror,” to the latest round of “competitive” reform enacted in 2012. It has been driven by public dissatisfaction, management fads, government biases and broader trends like devolution – which is why we now distinguish the English NHS from those of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There has been lots of controversy and hype, but what has actually happened?

Adam Oliver is one of the world’s leaders in comparing health care systems, both in his own research and as co-editor of Health Economics, Policy and Law and an organizer of international forums such as the Anglo-American Health Policy Network and the European Health Policy Group. He is modest enough not to claim he can explain it all – but if anyone can give an informed and balanced view, he can.

Co-sponsored by the CWRU Department of Economics and the Center for Policy Studies with the generous support of Ms. Eloise Briskin. This forum is free and open to the public.

About Our Guest

Adam Oliver is Reader in Health Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds a Masters of Science in Health Economics from the University of York and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Newcastle. LSE Health is one of the leading centers for research and teaching about health policy in the world, and Dr. Oliver is a central participant in much of its work. Along with his colleague Dr. Elias Mossialos, he co-founded and co-edits the journal, Health Economics, Policy and Law. For many years Dr. Oliver also coordinated the European Health Policy Group, which semi-annually gathers researchers from Europe and elsewhere to share research on health care systems. He also coordinates online networks about Japanese health policy and Anglo-American health policy.

Dr. Oliver is a prolific scholar. His research has two main components. One is work about health care systems around the world. He has published widely in the areas of health equity, economic evaluation, risk and uncertainty, and the economics and policy of health care reform in various countries. From 1995-1997 he was a Japanese Ministry of Education Research Scholar, and from 2005-2006 a Harkness Fellow with the Commonwealth Fund in New York. His Harkness work on reforms of the Veterans Health Administration resulted in, among other publications, a major article in The Milbank Quarterly. The topics of his health policy work range from “The folly of cross-country ranking exercises” to how to encourage organ donation; from the effects of user financial incentives on health to each iteration of “reform” of the British National Health Services.

The second theme, which also informs his health policy work, is the use and perhaps abuse of behavioral economics, both for analysis and for making policy. He is working to further identify what this approach may include, how it can proceed, and what it can contribute to both social science and social policy. In both its concepts and applications, therefore, Dr. Oliver’s work is part of and seeks to reinvigorate a tradition of broad and interdisciplinary scholarship that uses multiple tools and perspectives to understand social life.