2017, No. 2
NBER Profile: Jay Bhattacharya
Jay Bhattacharya is a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, as well as a professor (by courtesy) in the department of economics and the department of health research and policy at Stanford. He is a research associate in the NBER's Health Care and Health Economics programs.
Bhattacharya's research aims to understand the constraints that vulnerable populations face in making decisions that affect their health status, and in particular how government policies designed to benefit these populations actually affect the lives of people in such groups. More recently, his research has focused on the links between biomedical science and health. Some recent projects explore the use of "nudges" in exercise commitment contracts, the health consequences of population aging in Japan, the cost of treating highly complex patients in Medicare, and the incentives faced by biomedical scientists to try out new ideas in research.
Bhattacharya is a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute, and has been a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was an economist at the RAND Corporation and taught classes in the economics department at UCLA.
Bhattacharya received his Ph.D. in economics, A.M., and A.B. degrees from Stanford. He is an M.D., also earned at Stanford.
He has served on numerous scientific review and advisory committees, including the Health Services Organization and Delivery review panel at the National Institutes of Health and an Institute of Medicine panel on the regulation of work hours by resident physicians. He has provided testimony to the California State Legislature. He is an associate editor at the Journal of Human Capital and an editorial board member of the Forum for Health Economics and Policy. He previously served as associate editor of the Journal of Human Resources and the Economics Bulletin. Bhattacharya has published a textbook, Health Economics, which he is preparing to revise for a second edition.
In his free time, Bhattacharya loves to spend time with his family, which typically involves losing to his kids in a wide variety of board games and video games. He exercises out of obligation, rather than love of bicycling.