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 2021/2022

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: Covid19 and the effects of lockdowns; 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

The final grade will be based on two assessments:

1) A coursework assignment (structured into questions, to be uploaded on the EoI platform) where the students must interpret the evaluation outputs from the selected scientific articles distributed to the students during the course (50% of final grade). The assignment must be completed in the final week of the course through the EoL platform, and will consist in short text answers to questions about the paper.

2) A short test/exam (1 hour) administered through the EoL platform structured in two parts:
a) Multiple-choice questions on the foundation of evaluations of health promotion programs (25% of final grade)
b) A section on the interpretation of the stata outputs produced during the lab sessions (25% of final grade)

If students get a positive grade in the coursework assignment but fail the short test, they may choose to retake only the latter. Important: if students pass the short test but are unsatisfied with the overall grade, retakes involve a new assignment, it is not possible to retake individual parts with a positive grade.  

Students not delivering the coursework assignment by the end of the course will need to complete an extra part in the exam, answering questions about their assignment.

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