AØKK08365U  Seminar: Measuring health effetcts, modelling health economic analysis - cancelled

Volume 2017/2018

MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics


How health effects and utility are measured is topic for both decision- makers and their advisors. 

So are the progresses in modelling health economic analysis.

It is the purpose of the seminar, to provide the students with a general understandig of both theory and practice of both the above concerns.

Below is an introduction to an example of content of the seminar regarding modelling of health economic analysis:

In health economic analysis, static state transition models (STMs) and the dynamic models: differential equation-based compartmental models, discrete-event simulation (DES) and agent-based models (ABM) are commonly used modelling approaches.  STMs are static and unable to capture indirect effects, which are commonly observed in infectious disease modelling. Therefore, STMs may underestimate the benefits of an intervention. ABMs can capture different network structures. Compartmental models assume homogeneous mixing of individuals. ABM can be considered an extension of DES, even though DES provides a centralized approach. Therefore, DES, like compartmental models, provides a ‘topdown’ modelling approach. Entities follow some logic of entering or exiting queues (e.g. first-in, first-out or triaging on the basis of entities’ attributes) , whereas ABM provides a ‘bottom-up’ modeling approach. ABMs track each individual in the population separately, allowing for heterogeneous behaviour in relation to social mixing by defining an extensive set of relevant characteristics for each individual (e.g., age, gender, immunity status, overall health status, etc.).

Decision-analytic Model such as Dynamic Transmission Models as a vehicle for an economic evaluation are increasingly used, since randomized controlled trials (RCT), as a single vehicle for economic evolutions, have shown several limitations. As a result, economic evaluations often needs to build on various evidence from different sources to addresses a specific decision problem at a specific point in time. Key elements common for all decision analytic models are the use of probabilities to reflect the likelihood of an event or a change in health, and the expected values such as outcomes or costs. The transmissible nature of infectious diseases is the critical characteristic that sets them apart from other diseases modelled by health economists. Consequently, individuals modelled are not independent of each other in terms of their health i.e. the health of one individual does affect the health of one or more. These kind of non-linier dynamics features must be reflected in the decision analytic model Dynamic transmission models (DTM) can reproduce both the direct and indirect effects from a communicable disease control program. They differ from static models such as e.g. Markov Models, assuming a constant risk of infection.

Examples on topics:

  • Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation.

  • Dynamic Transmission Models.

  • Comparison of methods to determine QALYs – Rating Scale, Time Trade-off and Standard Gamble Method.

  • Health Technology Assessment – how can it be used in the decision-making.


  • EUnetHTA HTA Core Model – a critical analysis

  • Healthy.years Equivalents

  • Consumption as a variable in a QALY-model.
Learning Outcome

The seminar will give the student


  • about how health effects and health utility is measured.
  • about recent development in the modelling of health economic analysis.


The seminar intends to give  the student the following


  • Master the theory behind and practice of health economic models such as e.g. Markov Models and Dynamic Transmission models.

  • Master the theory behind and practice of health utility measures such as e.g. disability adjusted life year (DALY), quality adjusted life years (QALY) and healthy-years equivalents (HYE), hereunder differences in used questionnaires, interviews and calculation methods such as visual analogue scale (VAS), Rating Scale (RS), time trade off (TTO) and standard gamble (SG).


  • The student will obtain the competency to understand and perform health economi analysis.


Morris S., Devlin N., Parkin D. and Spencer A. ((2012). Economic Analysis in Health Care. Wiley, 2. ed. Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 13. ISBN: 9781119951490

Zweifel, P., Breyer, F. and Kifmann, M. (2009). Health Economics. Springer, 2. ed. Chapters 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13. ISBN: 978-3-540-27804-7

Handouts, slideshows and articles.


The student will benefit from having a basic knowledge about health economics.
Planning/start-up meeting, research and writing process of the seminar paper, sessions with presentation of own paper and critical evaluation/feedback to another student´s paper, actively participating in discussions at class.

Before the session a "so-finalized-as-possible"-draft of the paper must be uploaded in Absalon. After the presentations, the student submit an edited version of the paper in the Digital Exam portal as the final exam paper. The aim is that students use the presentation sessions as an opportunity to receive and use the constructive feedback to improve the paper.
Classes: Wednesdays 8:15-10:00:
- September 6: Intro, presentation of participants and of idea catalogue to thesis subjects.
- September13: Participants presentation of project titles and ideas. Discussions and feedback. Working process initiated.
- September 20: NO CLASS. Working process.
- September 27: Planning meeting.
First.hour: Presenting titles, agreeing on which day who gives their presentation and who is moderator for who.
Second hour. Presentation of curriculum by associate professor Niels S.Zeeberg
- October 4: DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF COMMITMENT PAPER. Questions and supervision of students.
- October 11: Questions and supervision of students.
- October 18: NO CLASS. Writing process.
- October 25: Presentation and critical evaluation.
- November 1: Presentation and critical evaluation.
- November 8: Presentation and critical evaluation.
- November 15: Presentation and critical evaluation.
- November 22: Presentation and critical evaluation.

Deadline of pre-paper uploaded to Absalon : In agreement with the lecturer
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
- a seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
Exam registration requirements

Attendance in all activities at the seminar as stated in the formal requrements in the Curriculum and at the KUnet for seminars (UK) and Kunet for seminars (DK).

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Deadline for uploading the seminar paper to DE: 1st of December 2017 before 10:00 AM

For enrolled students more information about examination, rules, exam schedule etc. is available at the intranet for master students (UK) and  master students (DK)



A written paper as stated in the  Master curriculum and at the KUnet for seminars for master students (UK) and master students (DK). 

Criteria for exam assesment

The student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course and the objectives stated in the Curriculum.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Total
  • 206