Measuring and Improving Health Equity

December 7-8, 2018, Los Angeles, California

Health policies are often considered successful when they improve average outcomes. Yet, in a world where life expectancy can differ by as much as 20 years in neighborhoods only 5 miles apart from each other, it also matters to whom benefits accrue. This conference focused on the goal of giving everyone a fair opportunity to be healthy, that is, improving health equity. Because what is not measured is not targeted by policy, papers that measure variations in health were featured throughout the conference. Speakers also analyzed the processes that create barriers to health, and considered how public policies can address the problem.


  • Rebecca Myerson, USC
  • Silvia Helena Barcellos, USC




Biological Inequity in the Health and Retirement Study
Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California
Health System Characteristics Associated with Equity in High-Income Countries
Thomas Rice, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussant: Alice Chen, University of Southern California
Choice Effectiveness in Health Insurance Markets: Mistakes, Consequences, and Solutions
Ben Handel, University of California, Berkeley
Discussant: Marika Cabral, University of Texas, Austin
Food Purchasing Behavior of New SNAP Recipients
Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford University
Discussant: Darius Lakdawalla, University of Southern California
Why Current Practice of Evidence-based Medicine Breeds Disparities
Anirban Basu, University of Washington
Discussant: Charles Manski, Northwestern University
Local Food Prices, SNAP Purchasing Power, and Child Health
Hilary Hoynes, University of California, Berkeley
Discussant: Heather Royer, University of California, Santa Barbara
Defining and Measuring Financial Well-being in Cancer Research
Reginald Tucker-Seeley, University of Southern California
Discussant: Robin Yabro, American Cancer Society
Equity and Economic Evaluation: “Measuring and Improving Health Equity” with System Level Policies in Low and Middle Income Countries
Andrew Mirelman, The University of York
Discussant: Bill Padula, University of Southern California