John A. Nyman, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Division of Health Policy and 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 & 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


Research Funding Grants

  • 2016–2021, NIH, "Advancing Treatment for Pancreatitis: A Prospective Observational Study of TPIAT," Co-Investigator
  • 2014–2019, US Dept of Health & Human Services AHRQ, "A Proactive Health Monitoring Intervention for Dementia Caregivers: The Neighbor," Co-Investigator


See a full list of publications on PubMed


Selected Publications

  • Nyman, JA, “Cost Recommendations in the 2nd Edition of Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine: A Review,” Medical Decision Making: Policy and Practice, 2018, pp. 1-6.
  • Nyman, JA, Welte, JW, Dowd, BE, “Something for Nothing: A Model of Gambling Behavior,”  Journal of Socio-Economics, 2008
  • Nyman, JA, “American Health Policy: Cracks in the Foundation,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2007
  • Nyman, JA, “The Value of Health Insurance: The Access Motive,” Journal of Health Economics, 1999
  • Nyman, JA, “Prospective and 'Cost-Plus' Medicaid Reimbursement, Excess Demand, and the Quality of Nursing Home Care,” Journal of Health Economics, 1985



  • PubH 6632, Economics of the Health Care Sector
  • PubH 6862, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care