In the classroom, economist Larry Howard helps student explore human decision-making in an economic context; specifically, decision making of consumers, producers and governments and their interaction in the market.
In his research, the associate professor of economics studies explores the economic impacts of policies affecting disadvantaged populations. Most recently those studies have involved the effectiveness of childhood vaccination programs and the design of the Medicaid program.
“Medicare is the largest entitlement program providing health care in the country,” Howard says. “Medicaid is the largest welfare program providing health care to low-income individuals.” Both programs were passed in 1965 and turned 50 this year. In recent years, Howard notes, the costs of both programs have increased dramatically, at least partly due to an aging population and increases in medical costs.