John S. Akin
Ph.D., Carr Distinguished Professor, Fellow Emeritus, Economics
John Akin is a Fellow Emeritus at the Carolina Population Center.
John Akin, Austin H. Carr Distinguished Professor of Economics, has primary interests in health economics and health care finance, public economics, and population economics. His most recent research emphases were on the impacts of the decentralization of the health sector on health care provision and usage (as a subproject of the USAID funded Measure Project he and Paul Hutchinson evaluated decentralization in Uganda), and on changes in recent years in China of health use and health status (much under NIH funding). Both projects relied heavily on data sets Akin helped to design and collect. Akin was a co-investigator in all phases of the prospective Cebu, Philippines project. His work often examined patterns and determinants of contraceptive use, particularly the role of economic factors, and examined factors affecting the demand for types of contraceptives in Jamaica, the Philippines, and Thailand. As a principal investigator of the Evaluation of Family Planning Program Impact Project, he analyzed the impact of private sector effectiveness for family planning service delivery in the Philippines using household, individual, and facility data from a large longitudinal survey conducted in urban and rural areas in Cebu, Philippines. As a consultant to the World Bank, he worked on a health usage and expenditure analysis for three Nigerian states. Akin evaluated training needs for the World Bank's health sector professional staff and designed a long-term training program to meet them. Akin was an expert advisor to a World Bank-funded health and family planning provision and financing project in Sri Lanka that collected and analyzed survey data from health facilities and households in four areas of the country. With Barry Popkin and medical anthropologist Gail Henderson (Social Medicine), he was co-investigator in the "Modeling the Health Transition" project for China. He was principle investigator of the "Economic Transition: The Effects on Health Care in China" NICHD funded project, which ended 02/28/2006. Akin served a two-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Economic Association. From January 1996 through June 1997 he was on leave working in the World Bank's East Africa Department in Kampala, Uganda. In that World Bank assignment he served as health economics advisor to the East Africa Department, and helped design and initiate projects in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda on health-sector reform and malaria control. In July 2010 Akin stepped down as Chair of the Economics Department after serving for 10 years. During 2010-2011 he served UNC as Chair of the Faculty Steering Committee of the Chancellor's Innovation Circle. The Innovation Circle prepared a strategic roadmap and fund raising plan designed to accelerate innovation at Carolina.