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Hans Olav Melberg

(Norway) Associate Professor of Economics University of Oslo

Harkness Project: Integrated Care and Incentives: Who Are the Most Expensive Patients and What Does It Tell Us About the Health Care System?

Placement: University of Pennsylvania

Mentor: Mark Pauly, Ph.D., professor of health care management, business and public policy, Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Hans Olav Melberg, Ph.D., a 2012-13 Norwegian Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is an associate professor of economics in the department of health management and health economics at the University of Oslo. Since 2009, Melberg has led an international project examining the determinants of health spending in various countries. He also has done considerable research in the area of addiction and the effect of alcohol and tobacco taxes on behavior, publishing multiple peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the European Journal of Health Economics and the Journal of Substance Abuse. In 2010, Melberg created a new journal, the Nordic Journal of Health Economics, where he is now managing editor, and in 2012 he edited a book about the future of the Norwegian health care system. Melberg has also worked as a consultant for the Norwegian Ministry of Finance on a project to estimate end of life costs and served as a member of the Ministry of Health’s advisory committee on a study of pharmaceutical prices in 2011. Melberg received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oslo.

Current Project Abstract: Melberg will examine trends and causes behind high health care spending in the United States, particularly high spending at the end of life. He will first examine how end-of-life spending varies based on age, and why spending tends to be lower for an older person at the end of their life than a younger person. He will also examine whether features of the health care system impact end-of-life spending – including financial incentives and the degree of health system integration – and contrast U.S. findings with end-of-life spending in the Norwegian health system. He will use available health care utilization and spending datasets in the U.S. and Norway.

Career Activity since Fellowship:

Current Positions: 

  • Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oslo

Email: [email protected]