by Joseph Master

The National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER) has appointed Associate Professor of Economics Catherine Maclean as a Faculty Research Fellow in the organization’s Health Economics program.

Boasting 25 Nobel Prize winners with NBER affiliations, the organization is the nation’s preeminent economic research association. Researchers holding an NBER affiliation represent an elite group of researchers at the forefront of their fields.

“Catherine is productive every minute of the day — from teaching in the classroom to researching and mentoring doctoral students — and it is paying dividends,” Michael L. Bognanno, department of economics chair, says. “She is helping to drive the Economics Department forward in one of its main areas — applied microeconomics. Catherine’s nomination as an NBER Faculty Research Fellow is a terrific recognition of her work in the field of health and labor economics.”

Maclean — a prolific scholar whose research employs economic concepts to study health and healthcare outcomes, labor market outcomes, and public policies — has 13 papers currently under review, with 10 publications in 2015 and nine in 2014. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

In her current research, Maclean is studying the effect of expanding access to marijuana for medical use on chronic pain and employment outcomes among older Americans. 

Maclean is also exploring how tying patient cost-sharing (co-payments) to healthcare service value can impact healthcare costs. The principle of linking cost with service value is codified with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with immediate implications for predicting the full impacts of the historic health insurance expansion that is currently occurring with the ACA rollout.  

In addition, Maclean is conducting experiments in an online setting to understand the economic  factors that influence utilization of electronic cigarettes among Americans. 

"I am extremely honored to be appointed to the NBER Program in Health Economics as a Faculty Research Fellow,” Maclean says. “There are countless excellent scholars who are affiliated with the Bureau. I look forward to collaborating with other NBER researchers on health- and labor-related questions. The connection to NBER will be great exposure for the high quality research currently being conducted here at Temple."  


Founded in 1920, the NBER is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to conducting economic research and to disseminating research findings among academics, public policy makers, and business professionals. NBER-affiliated researchers study a wide range of topics and they employ many different methods in their work. Key focus areas include developing new statistical measurements, estimating quantitative models of economic behavior, and analyzing the effects of public policies.

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