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New Director Starts at SIEPR

Mark Duggan with former SIEPR Directors Michael Boskin and John Shoven in front of SIEPR building

Mark Duggan with former SIEPR Directors Michael Boskin and John Shoven

Sep 1 2015

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Mark Duggan, the Wayne and Jodi Cooperman Professor of Economics at Stanford, became the Trione Director of SIEPR effective today, September 1, 2015. He succeeds John Shoven, who led the institute for 16 years and grew SIEPR’s reputation as an authoritative voice on economic policy. “It’s truly an honor to follow in John’s footsteps and I hope to build on all that he accomplished. SIEPR scholars are doing first-rate research on many of the most important challenges facing policymakers in the U.S. and around the world. We have an opportunity to educate the public about these issues while providing data-driven evidence that can lead to much better policies.”

Mark is a health economist with a long interest in government and policy. He came to Stanford in the summer of 2014 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he chaired the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy and directed the Penn Wharton Public P
olicy Initiative. He was an important player in the design of the Affordable Care Act, serving as senior economist for health care policy at the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 2009–10. He has testified to both houses of Congress about factors driving the growth in Social Security Disability Insurance enrollment and options for reforming this program.

The new SIEPR Director received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from M.I.T. in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He then switched to economics, getting his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1999. His recent research focuses on the health care sector and on federal disability programs. For example, he has investigated the effects of a merger between two large health insurers on health care costs. In related work, he explored the effects of Medicare Part D on pharmaceutical prices. And in other research, he has estimated the effect of federal disability programs on the labor market. He was awarded the 2010 ASHEcon Medal as the nation’s leading health economist under age 40.

Mark’s appointment represents a generational shift at SIEPR and he is championing a movement to involve more undergraduates and pre-doctoral researchers in policy-oriented research. “This is a natural extension of the Young Scholars program that John Shoven created and that has made SIEPR the go-to place among Ph.D. economists doing policy-oriented research. I can’t think of anything more invigorating for SIEPR than to capture more of the energy and enthusiasm of these young people.”

Letter from the Director