Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact (MBA)

Health, and development more broadly, is not something we give to people: it is something they produce themselves, interacting with supply-side and institutional factors. This course trains students to see through the lens of the end-user and to use the levers of behavior change to generate impact in health and social programs. Although most of the applications are in global health, it is appropriate for students who anticipate working in health, education, or international development sectors, as well as those with a general interest in learning how behavioral economics can be effectively applied.

In this course, students learn how to design products and services from the perspective of the patient/customer and the provider/supplier.

The course is organized around three core modules, each of which focus on one of the elements that comes together to jointly produce a health outcome: the customer, the provider, and the system:

  1. How do we understand the needs of the customer (patient)? How do we design and deliver products to meet those needs?
  2. How do we motivate the providers and ensure they are providing the best care possible?
  3. How can the larger health system, including private sector actors, enable the production of health? How do we change practices on a system-level?

Through exposure to major practitioner challenges and innovative solutions from HBS Case discussions, protagonists from the field, expert guest faculty from across Harvard, and engagement with cutting edge research in public health, public policy, psychology, and economics, students will learn to bridge the worlds of research and action to creatively, and skillfully, make an impact in global health.

Course Syllabus (PDF)

Find out what alumni have said about the influence of “Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact” on their careers: