Area Health Economics


Currently in Germany, expenditures of the healthcare system exceed one billion euros per day. The financial stability of the system is highly vulnerable from the one side to the developments in health and the demographics of the population such as aging, migration and epidemics, and on the other side, to the technological change and therapeutic advances that lead to increasing expenses in medicine. The economic approach of the healthcare system has become a necessity. Despite the long history of Economics, Health Economics can be considered as a relatively young discipline. When approaching health and healthcare from an economic perspective, one discovers distinctive characteristics and the complications that are specific to the area. Health economists consider health as a production- and consumption good, inform healthcare-related decision-making and deal with an effective organization of the market for healthcare services and the functions of its key players such as hospitals, physicians, pharmaceutical- and insurance companies. The Area Health Economics brings together the knowledge from several disciplines: micro- and macro-economics, institutional economics, distribution theory, labor economics, business administration and econometrics. The Area provides the students with knowledge and skills to perform theoretical and applied economic analysis of health and healthcare. These include the application of microeconomic tools in the analysis of the market for health and healthcare services, for example to the demand for healthcare influenced by asymmetric information and the behavior of the key players. The theory of institutional economics provides insights into institutions of the social insurance and understanding of advantages and disadvantages of different social insurance systems, distributive justice and politico-economic implications. The elective part of the Area Health Economics offers a variety of related modules. These include lectures on the management of the healthcare providers which covers the specific organization of the German healthcare system and approaches for the management within its key players. The students also learn about the organization of healthcare system in different countries which brings a broader view on the healthcare-related political implications.

Structure Major

CategoryCredit points (ECTS)
Compulsory modules5
Elective modules (without seminars)35
Elective modules (seminars)10

Structure Minor

CategoryCredit points (ECTS)
Elective modules20

Detailed structure

The modules have to be taken in semesters 1-3. Since all the elective module offers are prospective, changes are possible.

Compulsory modules Major / Elective modules Minor

Module / CourseLanguageSemesterExamination formCP (ECTS)
Theory of Health EconomicsEnglischWinterWritten Examination 60 min5 Health Economics

Elective modules (without seminars) Major / Elective modules Minor

Module / Course Language Semester CP (ECTS) Institute
Data Analytics German / English Winter and summer 5 Labour Economics
Personnel Economics English Summer 5 Labour Economics
Arbeit und Gesundheit German Summer 5 Interdisciplinary Industrial Science
Applied Health Economics English Summer 5 Health Economics
BWL im Gesundheitswesen German Winter 5 Health Economics
Datenanalyse mit Stata German Winter 5 Health Economics
Economics and Decision Making in Health Care English Summer 5 Health Economics
Field Experiments in Health English Summer 5 Health Economics
Gesundheitsökonomische Evaluation mit Sekundärdaten (ehemals Sekundärdatenanalyse als Evaluationsmethode) German Summer 5 Health Economics
Health and Economic Development English Winter 5 Health Economics
Quantitative Managementmethoden im Gesundheitswesen English Summer1 5 Health Economics
Wirtschaftspolitische Beratung und Politikevaluation in Gesundheitsmärkten German Summer 5 Health Economics
Advanced Econometrics German Winter 5 Statistics
Advances in Distribution Theory English Summer 5 Economic Policy
Behavioral Economics of Poverty English Summer 5 Economic Policy
Econometric Methods German Winter 5 Economic Policy
Foundations of Economic Policy German Summer 5 Economic Policy

1 Not in summer 2024

Elective modules (seminars) Major / Elective modules Minor

Examination form: Seminar Paper

Module / Course Language Semester CP (ECTS) Institute
Seminar Population Economics German / English Winter and summer 5 Labour Economics
Seminar in Data Analytics German / English Winter and summer 5 Labour Economics
Seminar Angewandte Gesundheitsökonomie und Wirkungsanalyse German / English Winter 5 Health Economics
Seminar Gesundheit und Bevölkerung English Winter and summer 5 Health Economics
Seminar Gesundheitspolitik und Systemvergleich German Winter and summer 5 Health Economics
Seminar Gesundheitsökonomische Evaluation1 German Winter 5 Health Economics
Seminar Innovative Gesundheitslösungen für die GKV in Kooperation mit einem GKV-Partner German Winter 5 Health Economics

1 For attendance a proof of a passed written exam in at least one of the modules Advanced Econometrics, Applied Health Economics, Data Analytics, Econometric Methods, Field Experiments in Health or Health Economic Evaluation with Claims Data is required. In addition, knowledge in the use of statistical software (Stata, R, Python, SAS, etc) or a software for qualitative data and text analysis (e.g. MAXQDA) is recommended.

Research and practical relevance

Health economics is an interdisciplinary field which combines the knowledge of economics, medicine, law, mathematics, statistics and social science. It is a fast growing research field with increasing relevance in healthcare policy. The Area Health Economics offers a broad spectrum of lectures and seminars, which combine the theoretical background and practical applications in the field. During the program, the students consider real-world examples and receive training in conducting state-of-the-art health services research, quality of life studies, measuring patient preferences and performing different types of cost-effectiveness analyses. The program offers training in model programming and empirical analyses using suitable software. Additionally, the students gain important practical insights from the lectures given by guest speakers who are experts in their respected field. There the students will have an opportunity to communicate with and ask questions to the practitioners from the German sickness funds, hospitals, the German Medical Association and so on. The main educational goal of the Area Health Economics is to prepare the students for a successful career in the healthcare sector by equipping them with thorough theoretical background and excellent methodological, technical and practical skills.

Intended audience (Recommended skills)

The Area Health Economics is designed for the students who intend to develop their career in the healthcare and public health system. This program suits the students who are keen to learn applications of the economic theory in healthcare and gain the methodological and practical skills to conduct state-of-the-art health economic studies. Prospective students are encouraged to have interests in economics, health, and healthcare sector and possess basic analytical skills.

Career prospects

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide. In Germany, with currently around 5.2 million employees, the healthcare system employs more people than the automotive-, the steel-, the machine-building and the electro-technical industries combined. The importance of this sector will further increase due to the factors like demographical changes and medico-technical progress. The graduates of the Area Health Economics have broad career perspectives and can apply their skills in different healthcare-related institutions including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, producers of medical devices, health insurance funds, public organizations and health economic consulting.