John Nyman

John A. Nyman, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Division of Health Policy & Management


PhD, Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1984
MS, Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, History, University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana
BA, History, Lawrence University


I am an economist specializing in health and healthcare issues. Although I have worked in the area of nursing home policy and physician behavior in the past, my recent work has focused mainly on health insurance theory, cost-effectiveness analysis, with an occasional paper on why people gamble recreationally.

With regard to health insurance, I have developed a theory that suggests that people purchase health insurance to obtain additional income when ill, rather than to avoid risk, the conventional theory. This theory implies that moral hazard — the additional healthcare consumed because of insurance — is largely efficient and represents an important reason why people purchase health insurance.


Health insurance theory, conduct and theory of cost-effectiveness analysis, conduct of cost-function analysis.

Awards and Recognition

  • Member, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health
  • Leonard M. Schuman Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 2005
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Division of Hospital and Health Care Administration, University of Minnesota, 1993
  • Burlington-Northern Faculty Achievement Award, University of Iowa. This university-wide competitive award was "made in recognition of excellence in classroom teaching and professional scholarship...which directly enhance[s] the effectiveness of the nominee's teaching the subject content of her or his field," 1987-88

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