Michael Stepner, an economist studying public finance, health, and social insurance, is the winner of the 2020 John Heinz Dissertation Award. He was nominated for this honor by Amy Finkelstein, Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Stepner’s dissertation, “Essays on Health and Social Insurance,” was submitted for his doctorate in economics at MIT.

“The selection committee was deeply impressed by the quality of Dr. Stepner’s dissertation,” said Ezra Golberstein, Chair of the 2020 Heinz Dissertation Award Committee, and Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. “His work advances the theory of optimal design of social insurance benefits, and his quantitative analyses deliver convincing and policy-relevant evidence of the effects of both public and private insurance benefits for health and disability.”

The 2020 Heinz Dissertation Award Selection Committee also gave an honorable mention to Caitlin Carroll for her dissertation, “Essays on Healthcare Provider Markets.” Carroll wrote the dissertation while she was a doctoral student in health policy at Harvard University. Her thesis was nominated by David Cutler, Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

Read the full press release announcement about the 2020 Heinz Dissertation Award.