Ernst Berndt


Louis E. Seley Professor in Applied Economics
Professor of Applied Economics
MIT Sloan School of Management

Ernst Berndt is currently the Louis E. Seley Professor in Applied Economics, in the Applied Economics Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  He is also a member of the affiliated facility at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and previously served as Co-Director of the Division’s Biomedical Enterprise Program, which involves a joint degree program with MIT Sloan.  Prior to Berndt’s tenure at the Biomedical Enterprise Program, he was Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research Program on Technological Progress and Productivity Measurement until January 2011.

Berndt’s status as a world-renowned health economics expert is documented by his extensive editorial board service within health and economics industry publications such as Health Affairs, the Journal of Business Administration, and the Forum for Health Policy & Economics, to name a few.  Berndt’s highly regarded position in the academic community has been continuously reinforced through well-respected honors and awards.  Early on, Berndt was named the Most Cited Economist Under Age 40, and went on to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Valparaiso University, and an Excellence Award for his research in Mental Health and Economic Policies from ICMPE (Venice, Italy).  Most recently, Berndt was listed in the Who’s Who in America publication and received the Faculty Appreciation Award from MIT Sloan’s Technology and Policy Program.

With over 40 years of research dedicated to the field of medical economics and broader healthcare industry, and over 200 publications on various topics including drug pricing, drug marketing, healthcare costs, and patent and regulatory policies, Berndt has become a highly sought after independent expert in court cases.  To date, Berndt has provided independent expert testimony for more than 30 cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, ranging from multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers to market-leading U.S. health insurance carriers and Fortune 500 corporations in the healthcare and technology sectors.

The focus of Berndt academic research has been on the measurement of productivity growth, as well as in-depth analytical research around the sources driving productivity, strategies for adjusting medical and technology device pricing relative to product quality, and the direct and indirect impacts illness has on patients’ quality of life (e.g., ability to work).  Outside the medical economics realm, Berndt has also published extensive research on the structure and advanced configurations within the advertising services sector.

Currently, Berndt is focusing his research toward the outcomes and efficacy of the dynamic changes the healthcare industry as a whole is experiencing; specific topics of study range from the value of medical innovations on patient interventions and medical costs over time, the causation of cancer drug shortages in the U.S., the state of global clinical trials in emerging economies and incentives to expand R&D into such high-prevalence disease regions.  Berndt is also examining the correlation between FDA approval lengths and drugs withdrawn from market and the relationship between DTC pharmaceutical marketing and patient drug utilization.


Awards, Honors and Press:

  • Faculty Appreciation Award, MIT Technology and Policy Program, 2006
  • Excellence Award in Mental Health Policy and Economics Research, International Center of Mental Health Policy and Economics for “”An Analysis of the Diffusion of New Antidepressants: Variety, Quality, and Marketing Efforts”, 2003
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Valparaiso University, 1996
  • Elected Fellow, The Econometric Society, 1994
  • Most Cited Economist Under Age 40, 1985
  • National Science Foundation Fellow, 1970-1971 and 1971-1972
  • National Science Foundation Trainee, 1969-1970

Christ College Scholar, Valparaiso University, 1965-1968


D. Phil, Honorary, Uppsala University
Ph.D. Public Finance, University of Wisconsin
M.S. Public Finance, University of Wisconsin
B.A. Economics and Philosophy, Valparaiso University

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