Health Economics Expert, Ohio Wesleyan Graduate to Speak at University

William C. Hsiao, Ph.D., Class of 1959, to Receive Honorary Degree at Oct. 20 Presentation
William C. Hsiao, Ph.D.

William C. Hsiao, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, Ohio – During the past 40 years, William C. Hsiao, Ph.D., has helped to design health system reforms and universal health insurance programs for countries including China, Colombia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Uganda, Vietnam, and the United States.

During that same time, Hsiao also has served as an adviser to three U.S. presidents and to the U.S. Congress, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, and International Labor Organization. Today, he is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in health economics.

On Oct. 20, Hsiao, a 1959 Ohio Wesleyan University graduate, will return to his alma mater to present at free public lecture and receive an OWU honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his global efforts to improve health care for hundreds of millions of people.

Hsiao, who majored in physics and mathematics at Ohio Wesleyan, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. He will discuss “Ideological Struggle and Global Health Around the World.”

Currently, Hsiao serves as the K.T. Li Research Professor of Economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. He also earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard.

“It is a great honor to welcome William Hsiao home to Ohio Wesleyan and to celebrate his considerable accomplishments by awarding him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, the university’s highest honor,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “He exemplifies the power and purpose of Ohio Wesleyan: to educate moral leaders for the global society. His visit promises to be both informative and inspiring.”

In Hsiao’s work for developing nations, he has researched sustainable financing mechanisms to provide health care for the poor rural population. With UNICEF’s support, he has collaborated with seven universities in China to conduct a nationwide study on health care financing, laying the groundwork to reform the design of health insurance benefits for 900 million rural residents.

With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hsiao has explored models to improve the financing and delivery of basic health care for 350 million low-income rural residents in China.

In addition, he developed the “control knobs” framework to diagnose the causes for successes or failures of national health systems and, separately, developed the resource-based relative value scale for setting physician fees.

For his work, Hsiao was named Man of the Year in Medicine in 1989. He has published more than 180 papers and several books and served on the editorial boards of multiple professional journals. He also has been elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine, U.S. National Academy of Science, and as a Board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and Society of Actuaries. Learn more about Hsiao at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at

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