economics research

my research traverses behavioral economics and IO predominantly in health, in efforts to understand roles of information in decision-making

projects — behavioral economics

behavioral externalities of COVID-19 policy
with Yeşim Orhun (Ross School of Business)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of local policies were instituted across communities to combat viral transmission. We exploit this heterogeneity to explore externalities of these policies at the household level.

physician decision-making
with Yeşim Orhun (Ross School of Business) & Jeffrey Kullgren (Michigan Medicine)

Since the advent of the Choosing Wisely campaign in 2012, attention has turned to the widespread prevalence of low-value care in healthcare settings. To date, the literature has largely been descriptive and focused on patient-side utilization patterns. We examine this question from an alternative perspective and study causal mechanisms for provider-side provision of low-value care.

decision-making in medical screening
with Benjamin Ho (Vassar College)

Empirical evidence has documented that certain populations avoid information in high-risk medical situations and resultantly do not undergo medical screening. Other cohorts pursue screening in excess of recommendations from medical guidelines and are exposed to greater harm, including over-treatment. We aim to study these disparate behaviors formally and experimentally, using intertemporal, intrapersonal models of agent utility.

decision-making in hiring practices
with Ashley Craig (University of Michigan) and Hyunjin Kim (INSEAD Business School)

Discriminatory hiring practices via implicit and explicit biases are well-documented. We experiment with interventions to curtail these biases.

projects — IO

structural economist internAmazon People eXperience Technology (PXT) Central Science (CS)
with Ben Handel (U.C. Berkeley) and Bob Town (U.T. Austin)

Structural demand estimation with Amazon’s PXTCS Health Benefits team.

innovation in pharmaceutical and medical device markets
with Eric Parolin (University of Michigan)

The M&A landscape for pharmaceuticals and medical devices has classically been difficult to navigate, due to countervailing forces incentivizing market entry and anti-competitive practices. We construct a model that incorporates this complexity.

understanding demand for ESRD incentive programs
with Andy Ryan (University of Michigan)

Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) comprise 1% of Medicare beneficiaries but 7% of Medicare spending, which can be traced back to high variability in quality of care. We explore the impact of quality incentive programs for this patient population.

uptake of scientific innovation in respiratory disease (honors thesis)
with Frank Lichtenberg (Columbia Business School)

Characterizing tangible effects from uptake of scientific innovation has been a classical challenge. Exploring this question using bibliometrics in the context of respiratory diseases, we investigate the relationship between long-run growth in cumulative research publication count and four indicators of tangible health outcomes: (1) mortality; (2) length of hospitalization; (3) discharge rate, and (4) disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Estimates show that mortality, hospitalization, and DALY rates in a given year are weakly inversely related to growth in funding-unsupported publications while discharge rate is positively related to growth in funding-unsupported publications. These relationships appear to strengthen as the lagged effects of cumulative publication count are considered, especially in the time frame 6 to 11 years after publication. Counterintuitively, an analysis of funding-supported publications has directionally-inverse results.


projects — health/labor

long-term implications of health accumulation in marriage markets
with Eric Parolin (University of Michigan) and Sarah Miller (Ross School of Business)

A wealth of literature has characterized associations among marital sorting patterns, educational attainment, and income level. However, a significant aspect of human capital has been omitted from the equation: health. While health has been correlated with education and income, a natural next step is to consider relationships among health and marital sorting. Exploiting policy changes and health shocks, we study the impact of health accumulation on marriage market outcomes.

information spillovers and labor market sorting

We seek to understand the role of information spread on labor market sorting, conditional on pre-existing networks that dictate information spread.

exploring relationships to qualify differences in social determinants of health
with Sarah Miller (Ross School of Business)

A significant literature has established the influence of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics on health. Exploiting novel data, we further this research.

investigating assortative matching in marriage markets
with Soyoung Han (University of Michigan)

Robust evidence points to assortative matching on income and educational attainment in marriage markets. We aim to experimentally decompose these trends, focused on educational sorting.

publications & contributions & acknowledgements

full list

* denotes equal contribution

  1. Kowalski AE. Behavior within a Clinical Trial and Implications for Mammography Guidelines. The Review of Economic Studies (2022).

  2. Ash E, Chen DL, Naidu S. Ideas Have Consequences: The Impact of Law and Economics on American Justice. NBER Working Paper 29788 (2022).

  3. Ash E, MacLeod WB. Reducing Partisanship in Judicial Elections Can Improve Judge Quality: Evidence from U.S. State Supreme Courts. Journal of Public Economics (2021).

  4. Ash E, MacLeod WB. Mandatory Retirement for Judges Improved Performance on U.S. State Supreme Courts. NBER Working Paper 28025 (2020).

  5. Ash E, MacLeod WB, Naidu S. The Language of Contract: Promises and Power in Union Collective Bargaining Agreements. Working Paper (2019).

  6. Chopra ZThe Efficacy of Biomedical Research: A Bibliometric Analysis across Longitudinal Respiratory Disease. Harvard College Economics Review (2019).

  7. Chopra Z. The Efficacy of Biomedical Research: A Bibliometric Analysis across Longitudinal Respiratory Disease Data. Columbia Economic Review (2019).

  8. Ash E, MacLeod WB, Naidu S. Optimal Contract Design in the Wild: Rigidity and Control in Collective Bargaining. Working Paper (2018).

  9. Ash E, MacLeod WB. Aging, Retirement, and High-Skill Work Performance: The Case of State Supreme Court Judges. SSRN (2017).