Ernst Berndt is the Louis E. Seley Professor in Applied Economics and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Until January 2011, he was Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research Program on Technological Progress and Productivity Measurement.
Berndt’s recent research focus has been on the changing dynamics of the healthcare industries. He has examined how medical innovations have affected the costs of treating selected diseases over time, factors affecting the globalization of clinical trials (particularly in emerging economies), causes of recent cancer drug shortages in the US, incentives to induce research and development into diseases prevalent in low-income countries, how industry funding of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through user fees has affected review times and safety withdrawal rates, and the impact of direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals on drug utilization. In other research, Berndt has assessed how illness and its treatment affect individuals’ ability to function at work. More generally, his research deals with assessing the sources of productivity growth and how productivity is measured. Berndt has implemented methods for adjusting prices for changes in quality in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, personal computer hardware, prepackaged software, and personal digit assistant product categories. He also has published research on the structure of the advertising services industries.
Berndt holds a BA in economics and philosophy from Valparaiso University, as well as an MS and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Uppsala University in Sweden and from the University of Basel in Switzerland.