ASHEcon Newsletter 2020:1
From Our President

Dear ASHEcon members and supporters,
We hope that this email finds you well.
We are two weeks away from the 2020 ASHEcon Virtual ConferenceWe have an exciting program planned and thank you for your patience as we navigate moving from an in-person meeting to a virtual conference.

Links to all the sessions will be posted online soon and if you've registered for the conference, you'll receive your password to access all the sessions once registration closes on June 4th. As a reminder, if you have already registered for the conference,  and made a request that your registration be refunded, donated, or credited towards the ASHEcon 2021 conference, you don't need to register again in the system. You must contact us at to process your registration. 

We look forward to seeing you online!

Best wishes,

Janet Currie
American Society of Health Economics

Newsletter Editor:
David Slusky
University of Kansas

Newsletter Co-Editors:

Sebastian Tello-Trillo
University of Virginia

Charles Courtemanche
University of Kentucky

N. Meltem Daysal
University of Southern Denmark

Kosali Simon
Indiana University

 Register for ASHEcon 2020 Virtual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2020 ASHEcon Virtual Conference. The conference will be held virtually from June 8-9, 2020 via the Zoom online platform. The conference will feature Plenary Lectures, Emerging Scholar sessions, panels on current policy topics, and opportunities for coffee and conversation. You can find the virtual conference agenda here.

Registration for the 2020 ASHEcon Virtual Conference is open from now until June 4th, 2020. 

COVID-19 Puts a New Spotlight on Paid Sick Leave

By: Nicolas R. Ziebarth

The United States is one of three OECD countries that does not provide employees with universal access to paid sick leave. Traditionally, U.S. employers have voluntarily provided paid sick leave, resulting in substantial inequality in coverage across jobs. For instance, 97% of private sector employees in the finance and insurance industry have access to paid sick leave, while only 41% of employees in the accommodation and food services industry have access.

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Pregnancy during the Pandemic: Why we can be cautiously optimistic about how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their children

By: Hannes Schwandt

More than 2.5 million women are currently pregnant in the United States, and many are worried about the impact a coronavirus infection could have on mothers and the development of their unborn children. A large literature surrounding the fetal origins hypothesis has shown that pregnancy conditions not only impact the mother but can also impair the offspring (Almond and Currie 2011). Maternal influenza infections during pregnancy may induce premature birth (Currie and Schwandt 2013) and strong cases could even impair fetal development to the point where there are repercussions throughout adulthood (Schwandt 2019). In his seminal paper, Almond (2006) documented lower incomes and higher adult disability rates among the entire cohort of infants that was in-utero during the Spanish Flu pandemic.


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What is EHEC?

By: Sebastian Tello-Trillo
David Slusky: EHEC is the Electronic Health Economics Colloquium, and rhymes with AHEC (the Annual Health Economics Conference) and MHEC (the Midwest Health Economics Conference). In choosing a name, we wanted to evoke and honor the existing infrastructure of health economics conferences and all of the hard-organizing work others have put in over the years.
Sayeh Nikpay: EHEC is an attempt to carry on with one of the best parts of academic life - listening to and critically discussing research.

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Daily Tradeoffs: An Interview with Dan Gorenstein, Host of the Podcast Tradeoffs

By: David Slusky

David Slusky: How was the decision made to drastically increase the frequency of Tradeoffs episodes?
Dan Gorenstein: In the middle of March, we called an unscheduled editorial meeting. We looked at our calendar. The episode on deck – a look at the funding of residency programs – didn’t seem to match the moment. Italian doctors were facing terrible choices. Social distancing was taking hold. Public health officials were scrambling.
By the end of that week (and a few dozen phone calls) it was clear that the coronavirus was going to have a sweeping effect on the U.S. health care system in profound and potentially terrible ways. It was scary. As a health policy show, we know health policy. And we felt a duty to cover as much of this story as we could. And honestly, it gave us purpose during the crisis.

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Results from ASHEcon survey on Letters of Recommendation: Part 2

By: Sebastian Tello-Trillo

In the last newsletter we posted the summary of the results from the survey on LOR. We included descriptive information on who responded in the survey, the length of letters, whether people reveal personal information on letters, amount of information about the author of the letter, and if letter writers included comparisons with other students. For those results, please check this link. In this article we continue to explore findings from the survey.

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