Prof. John Cawley on the Cornell campus. He will bring his expertise in the economics of obesity to an international organization of health economists

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Brooks health economist John Cawley takes leadership role with international organization

John Cawley, a professor in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy and director of the Cornell in Washington program, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Health Economics Association (IHEA).

The global organization has among its goals promoting and strengthening health economics research. Cawley’s primary field of research is the economics of risky health behaviors, with a focus on the economics of obesity. He studies the economic causes of obesity, the economic consequences of obesity, and economic approaches to obesity treatment and prevention.

“John brings international expertise to IHEA and his research tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Colleen Barry, Inaugural Dean of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. “We will all benefit from the contributions he is making to the field of health economics and to IHEA.”

IHEA organizes biennial international research conferences on health economics, offers webinars of cutting-edge research, awards annual prizes for the best published paper and the best doctoral student paper in health economics, and promotes the professional development of early-career scholars.

“I’m looking forward to helping organize the next IHEA World Congress, which takes place in 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa,” Cawley said. “There’s a real eagerness among researchers to return to face-to-face conferences. There’s no substitute for the give-and-take of a live Q&A during a conference session, and from what you learn about new research and changes in the profession through discussions with other attendees.”

Cawley has served IHEA in other capacities, but this is his first appointment to the 19-member board. Consistent with IHEA’s global scope, other members of the Board are from Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Ghana, Indonesia, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Cawley was nominated for the post by the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) where he previously served two terms on the Board of Directors. He also has served as Editor of the Journal of Health Economics and co-organizes the Ireland Masterclass in Health Economics and the Virtual Seminar on the Economics of Risky Health Behaviors (VERB). He is also chair of the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Job Market.

For his research, Cawley has received the Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and the Charles C. Shepard Science Award in Prevention and Control from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard University.

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