Leemore Dafny
Leemore S. Dafny

Herman Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Services
Professor of Strategy

Print Overview

Leemore Dafny is a Professor of Strategy, the Herman Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Services, and Director of Health Enterprise Management (HEMA) at Kellogg.  Her research examines competitive interactions among payers and providers of healthcare services, and the intersection of industry and public policy.  Dafny's work has been published in journals such as the American Economic Review and the New England Journal of Medicine, and featured in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg, and The Washington Post.

Current projects include studies of consolidation in the U.S. hospital industry and the kidney dialysis industry, products and pricing on the public health insurance exchanges, copayment coupons for prescription drugs, and the implications of for-profit ownership of insurance companies.

Dafny graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company prior to earning her PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She has won several teaching awards as well as Kellogg's leading research prize, the Stanley Reiter Best Paper award. Dafny is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Faculty Fellow at Northwestern's Institute of Policy Research, and a Board member of the American Society of Health Economists and the Health Care Cost Institute.  

Dafny's expertise spans both the public and private sectors.  She currently serves on the Panel of Health Advisers for the Congressional Budget Office.  In 2012-2013, she served as Deputy Director for Healthcare and Antitrust in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC.   Dafny advises companies, government agencies, and nonprofits on a variety of issues including antitrust matters, strategic decisions, and public policy.  

Areas of Expertise
Competition in Healthcare
Competitive Analysis
Healthcare Management

Print Vita
PhD, 2001, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
AB, 1995, Economics, Harvard University, Summa Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Herman Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Services, Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-present
Faculty Research Fellow/Associate, Institute for Policy Research, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2003-present

Other Professional Experience
Faculty Research Associate, NBER Programs on Aging and Health Care, NBER, 2010-present
Deputy Director for Healthcare and Antitrust, Federal Trade Commission, 2012-2013
Business Analyst, McKinsey and Company, 1995-1997

Grants and Awards
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, 2011, 2012
Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2012
Faculty Impact Award- Healthcare Strategy, 2011
Faculty Impact Award- Empirical Methods In Strategy, 2010

Editorial Positions
Editorial Board Member, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Review, 2014-2014
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Journal of Health Economics, 2014-2014
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Health Services Research, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, HMPI, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Journal of Law and Economics, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Antitrust Law Journal, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2013
Ad-hoc Reviewer, Journal of Public Economics, 2013

Print Research
Research Interests
Industrial organization, competition in healthcare markets, anticompetitive conduct, merger analysis, healthcare reform, public health insurance programs

Dafny, Leemore S, Jonathan Gruber and Christopher Ody. 2015. More Insurers Lower Premiums: Evidence from Initial Pricing in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. American Journal of Health Economics. 1(1): 53–81.
Dafny, Leemore S. 2014. Hospital Industry consolidation - Still More to Come?. New England Journal of Medicine. 370: 198-199.
Dafny, Leemore S, Julie Carlson, Beth Freeborn, Pauline Ippolito, Brett Wendling and Brett Wendling. 2013. Economics at the FTC: Physician Acquisitions, Standard Essential Patents, and Accuracy of Credit Reporting. Review of Industrial Organization.
Dafny, Leemore S, Katherine Ho and Mauricio Varela. 2013. Let them Have Choice: Gains from Shifting away from Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and Toward an Individual Exchange. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 5(1): 32-58.
Dafny, Leemore S, Mark Duggan and Subramaniam Ramanarayanan. 2012. Paying a Premium on Your Premium? Consolidation in the U.S. Health Insurance Industry. American Economic Review. 102(2): 1161-1185.
Dafny, Leemore S, Ronen Avraham and Max Schanzenbach. 2012. The Impact of Tort Reform on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 28(4): 657-686.
Dafny, Leemore SDavid DranoveFrank Limbrock and FionaScott Morton. 2011. Data Impediments to Empirical Work on Health Insurance Markets. B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. 11(2): Article 8.
Dafny, Leemore S and David Cutler. 2011. Designing Transparency Systems for Medical Care Prices. New England Journal of Medicine. 364: 894-895.
Dafny, Leemore S. 2010. Are Health Insurance Markets Competitive?. American Economic Review. 100(4): 1399-1431.
Dafny, Leemore S, Katherine Ho and Mauricio Varela. 2010. An Individual Healthplan Exchange: Which Employees Would Benefit and Why?. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings.
Dafny, Leemore S. 2009. Estimation and Identification of Merger Effects: An Application to Hospital Mergers. Journal of Law and Economics. 52(3): 523-550.
Dafny, Leemore S and David Dranove. 2009. Regulatory Exploitation and Management Changes: Upcoding in the Hospital Industry. Journal of Law and Economics. 52(2): 223-250.
Dafny, Leemore S and David Dranove. 2008. Do Report Cards Tell Consumers Anything They Don't Already Know? The Case of Medicare HMOs. RAND Journal of Economics. 39(3): 790-821.
Dafny, Leemore S. 2005. How Do Hospitals Respond to Price Changes. American Economic Review. 95(5): 1525-1547.
Dafny, Leemore S. 2005. Games Hospitals Play: Entry Deterrence in Hospital Procedure Markets. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. 14(3): 513-542.
Dafny, Leemore S and Jonathan Gruber. 2005. Public Insurance and Child Hospitalizations: Access and Efficiency Effects. Journal of Public Economics. 89(1): 109-129.
Dafny, Leemore S, Katherine Ho and Mauricio Varela. 2010. An Individual Healthplan Exchange: Which Employees Would Benefit and Why?. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings. 100: 485-489.
Dranove, David, Cory Capps and Leemore S Dafny. 2010. A Competitive Process for Procuring Health Services: A Review of Principles with an Application to Cataract Services. SPP Research Paper: The Health Series. The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary 2(5)
Dafny, Leemore S. 2005. How Do Hospitals Respond to Price Changes?. American Economic Review. 95(5): 1525-1547.
Working Papers
Dafny, Leemore S and Subramaniam Ramanarayanan. 2013. Does it Matter if Your Health Insurer is For-Profit? Effects of Ownership on Premiums, Medical Spending, and Insurance Coverage.
Dafny, Leemore S, David Cutler and Christopher Ody. 2012. How Does Competition Impact Quality of Care? A Case Study of the U.S. Dialysis Industry.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Empirical methods in strategy
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Analytics for Strategy (MGMT-469-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Decision Sciences, Health Enterprise Management, Managerial Analytics, Management & Strategy.

Most strategic decisions businesses make require an assessment of cause and effect. What will happen to prices and sales if I open a new location in a particular geographic area? How will consumers respond if I begin posting the caloric content of my food products at the point of purchase? What is the effect of seasonal bonuses on employee productivity? This course is a deep dive into the empirical tool that is most valuable for linking cause to effect: regression analysis. You will learn how to perform convincing data analyses to answer specific questions, how to evaluate analyses others have done, and how to present data analysis in a clear and accessible way.

Students who took DECS 434 prior to the launch of DECS 431 (Fall 2013) must have permission of the instructor to enroll.

U.S. Healthcare Strategy (MGMT-945-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Management and Strategy, Health Enterprise Management

This new course delves into the strategic issues faced by healthcare firms. We will use concepts from the core strategy course (MGMT-431) as an organizing framework, and discuss where and why the healthcare sector deviates from the norm. For example, what is the role of competitive positioning when quality is so difficult to measure? How can you remain profitable if you compete against not-for-profits who don’t face taxes? Because a great deal of healthcare strategy relies on understanding the nitty-gritty of particular industries, we will spend time learning about several of these, including health insurance, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Although our focus is on private firms in the U.S., we will (of necessity) be discussing the role of the government in regulating and providing healthcare, and (time permitting) discuss some international issues. This is a lecture and case-based discussion course with group projects and a final exam

Healthcare Strategy Lab (MGMT-947-0)
The Healthcare Strategy Lab (HC-Lab) provides students a unique opportunity to work with healthcare organizations to solve a strategic challenge. This ten-week experiential learning course emphasizes real-world problem solving and client service through a formal consulting engagement. Working closely with the professor, teams of 5 students will interact with the client to agree upon project scope, objectives, and key analyses. Students will then work independently to conduct research, analysis, and interviews/market research (as appropriate), incorporating instructor and client guidance. The class will meet three times as a group; other class sessions will be devoted to team meetings with the professor. Project options will be made available at least a month before the course begins, and students will be required to submitted ranked preferences shortly thereafter. Client sectors will likely include: pharmaceuticals; medical products/devices; providers; payers; digital health applications. Students must sign a non-disclosure agreement if required by a client.

Executive MBA
U.S. Healthcare Strategy (MGMTX-945-0)
The healthcare sector absorbs 17 percent of US GDP, encompassing a diverse set of industries with public, nonprofit, and for-profit buyers and sellers. It is bloated, inefficient, and ripe for innovation. How can enterprising firms develop sustainable strategies given the current and future industry structures, conduct, and government regulations? In this course, we will study and apply strategic principles in a variety of healthcare settings. In so doing, participants will become acquainted with several U.S. health sectors, regulatory oversight of these sectors, and major policy issues.