Research

My research is focused on the evaluation of health policies that impact health behaviors. I have ongoing work on obesity, substance abuse and direct to consumer advertising (DTCA). My Google Scholar page can be found here.

Calorie Labeling:

My work on calorie labeling includes the first long term evaluation of New York City's calorie labeling law. We find a decline in the rate of individuals seeing and using calorie labels. Additionally, we find no change in the nutrition of fast food restaurant purchases. The study can be found here.

Additional work predicts the types of consumers who report seeing and using calorie labels. That study can be found here.

Substance Abuse:

My work examines the causal relationship between changes in the local unemployment rate and both the supply and demand for substance abuse treatment. An earlier NBER working paper version of the demand paper can be found here. A more recent version of the paper on the demand for substance abuse treatment is available upon request. The separate paper on the supply of substance abuse treatment with Brendan Saloner and Keith Stoller has recently been accepted by the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

More recent work in conjunction with Zubin Jelveh has generated the first panel data of all licensed substance abuse facilities geocoded at the address level between the years 2005-2017. The data are in the process of being updated to include all treatment facilities between the years 1975 and 2018.  More information on the dataset and its potential uses can be found here. The data are currently being used to evaluate the effect of state Medicaid expansions on the availability of treatment and separately the number of disability claims within a county. Finally, in ongoing work I am examining the availability of substance abuse and mental health treatment surrounding army bases.

DTCA:

My work on DTCA tries to identify the causal impact of exposure to print and television advertising for pharmaceutical products on consumption and other health behaviors. My co-authors in these projects include Rosemary Avery, Sahara Byrne, John Cawley, Matthew Eisenberg, and Jeff Niederdeppe. We generate individual level past year advertising exposure measures by combining print and television advertising data with a consumer survey. 

In "Vitamin Panacea? Is Advertising Fueling Demand for Products with Little Scientific Benefit" (accepted at the Journal of Health Economics), Rosemary Avery, Matthew Eisenberg and myself investigate how demand for vitamins is affected by advertising.