Giving Health Care Policy a Dose of Mathematics

 05 April 2023
 Mathematics - Research News

Imelda Flores Vazquez from Econometrica, Inc. explains how economists use mathematics to evaluate the efficacy of health care policies.

When a hospital or government wants to adjust their health policies — for instance, by encouraging more frequent screenings for certain diseases — how do they know whether their program will work or not? If the service has already been implemented elsewhere, researchers can use that data to estimate its effects. But if the idea is brand-new, or has only been used in very different settings, then it's harder to predict how well the new program will work. Luckily, a tool called a microsimulation can help researchers make an educated guess.