Five Minutes with Frank Sloan

We’re excited about the mid-February launch of the American Journal of Health Economics (AJHE)! We caught up with Frank Sloan, Editor-in-Chief of AJHE and author of several MIT Press books, to get the inside scoop about the new journal.

There are many journals available in the field of health economics. What distinguishes the American Journal of Health Economics (AJHE)

Although we accept papers from all over the world, especially papers that offer methodological contributions useful to health economists worldwide, our focus is on the United States. Other health economics journals have more of an international focus. Our editorial board consists of health economists from the U.S. The AJHE is interested in publishing papers using a variety of methodologies. While other health economics journals do not tend to publish papers using structural methods, the AJHE welcomes these papers.

Who is the ideal audience for AJHE, and why?

Narrowly defined, the audience for AJHE is the health economics community. But we expect that the AJHE will attract readers from health services research, medicine, and law, and social scientists in fields related to health care. The papers may sometimes be read by the media and public policy makers. The abstracts, introductions, and conclusions of the papers will be accessible to a wide audience.

What are AJHE’s major short and long term goals?

 In the short-run, we seek to increase the number of submissions to the journal and offer an attractive alternative to scholars to the existing journals. In the long-run, we seek to be the top journal in the field of health economics.

Can you share a “behind the scenes” anecdote or fact about the development of the journal? 

The AJHE is owned by the American Society of Health Economists. We heard from members that they felt that there were few excellent health economics journals available to them for submitting their work. The membership was interested in fostering competition among journals. The board believed that the field has grown sufficiently large to support another top journal focusing on U.S. health economics and policy. We teamed up with MIT Press, which is a top academic press, but sufficiently small to give the publishing process a personal touch.

As Editor-in-Chief, what most excites you about the journal and this field? 

We have nearly completed the first volume of the journal (2015) and are working on the 2016 volume. Health economics is on everyone’s mind, especially given implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We are and will be publishing early evidence on the effects of ACA implementation. While there have been many journalistic accounts, actual research on the topic is in its infancy.