70139 - Planning and Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has developed the skills supporting evidence-based decision making, and has adequate knowledge of the evaluation approaches and their applications to the different health promotion programs.

Course contents

  • Types of economic evaluation of health promotion programs
  • Ex-ante vs. ex-post evaluation methods
  • Economic evaluation of health care programmes: cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-benefit analysis
  • Evaluation with non-experimental data: indirect methods
  • Counterfactual estimation, Difference-in-Difference, Regression Discontinuity Design, Propensity Score Matching, Instrumental Variable Methods
  • Case studies: Information and promotion measures; Taxation; Advertising regulations; School measures



Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2014. Mastering'metrics: The path from cause to effect. Princeton University Press.

Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2008. Mostly harmless econometrics: An empiricist's companion. Princeton university press.

Mazzocchi, M., Traill, W.B., Shogren, J.S., 2009. Fat Economics: Nutrition, Health and Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

M. F. Drummond, Mark J. Sculpher, George W. Torrance, 2005.Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes, Oford University Press, Oxford

Myoung-jae Lee, 2005. Micro-econometrics for policy, program, and treatment effects, Oxford University Press, Oxford


A selection of journal articles will be recommended during the course

Teaching methods

The course consists of a combination of theoretical lectures, case studies on real-life evaluations, and lab tutorials using Stata.

During the course, students will be provided with examples of evaluations through:

1) Lab sessions on the application of policy evaluation methods for quasi-experimental data using Stata

2) A set of published articles on the evaluation of health policies and programs

Assessment methods

Written exam, structured in three sections:

1) A short part with multiple-choice questions on the foundation of evaluations of health promotion programs (20% of final mark)

2) A section on the interpretation of the stata outputs produced during the lab sessions (30% of final mark)

3) A section on the interpretation of the evaluation outputs from the selected scientific articles distributed to the students during the course (50% of final mark)

Teaching tools

This module provides a set of case studies on the economic evaluation of actual programs and policies designed to contrast obesity and its adverse health outcomes. The e-learning platform Moodle will enable access to interactive contents, data and case studies, including Stata data-sets and codes demonstrated in the lab.

Office hours

See the website of Mario Mazzocchi