My research is focused on the evaluation of health policies that impact health behaviors. I have ongoing work on obesity, substance abuse, mental health and direct to consumer advertising (DTCA). My Google Scholar page can be found here.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment:
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 published 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. I am currently in the process of updating the data to include all treatment facilities between the years 1975 and the present with Maria DeYoreo and Osonde Osoba. A similar dataset for mental health facilities is currently being created for the years 2008, 2012 and 2015 through the present. More information on both datasets and their potential uses can be found here. The substance abuse 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 both Patricia Tong and I are examining the availability of substance abuse and mental health treatment surrounding army bases.
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.
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.