University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Justin White , PhD

Justin White , PhD

Assistant Professor of Health Economics, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Tobacco Control

Research Summary

Justin White, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Health Economics in the UCSF School of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Institute for Global Health Sciences at UCSF.

Dr. White studies how monetary and non-monetary incentives can be used to promote healthy behavior, informed by research from the field of behavioral economics. His main research focus is chronic disease prevention, notably tobacco cessation. He is currently testing several incentive-based interventions using randomized designs. This work is being undertaken in several countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, and the US. In other recent and ongoing projects, he is evaluating the health impacts of economic and social policies, including: sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, cash and food assistance programs, and poverty alleviation programs.


Bucknell University, B.A., 05/2002, Chemistry
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, M.S.P.H., 05/2007, Health Policy
University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 01/2009, Economics
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 05/2013, Health Policy (Health Economics)
Stanford University, Postdoctoral, 07/2015, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Professional Experience

  • 2015-present
    Assistant Professor of Health Economics, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 2015-present
    Core Faculty, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 2005-2006
    Graduate School Merit Assistantship, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2007
    Jean G. Yates Health Policy Award, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2007-2009
    Berkeley Fellowship for Graduate Study, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • 2009
    Student Scholarship, International Health Economics Association
  • 2010
    Tobacco-Related Disparities Scholarship, Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco
  • 2011
    Center for Global Public Health Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • 2012
    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • 2009-2012
    NIH/NIA Predoctoral Training Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • 2013-2015
    NIH/NHLBI Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Selected Publications

  1. White JS. Capsule Commentary on Shapiro et al., Impact of a Patient-Centered Behavioral Economics Intervention on Hypertension Control in a Highly Disadvantaged Population: a Randomized Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Oct 30.
    View on PubMed
  2. Basu S, Gardner CD, White JS, Rigdon J, Carroll MM, Akers M, Seligman HK. Effects Of Alternative Food Voucher Delivery Strategies On Nutrition Among Low-Income Adults. Health Aff (Millwood). 2019 Apr; 38(4):577-584.
    View on PubMed
  3. White JS, Toussaert S, Thrul J, Bontemps-Jones J, Abroms L, Westmaas JL. Peer Mentoring and Automated Text Messages for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Pilot Trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Mar 20.
    View on PubMed
  4. Hamad R, Modrek S, White JS. Paid Family Leave Effects on Breastfeeding: A Quasi-Experimental Study of US Policies. Am J Public Health. 2018 Oct 25; e1-e3.
    View on PubMed
  5. White JS. Monetary incentives for smoking cessation in workplaces. Lancet Public Health. 2018 11; 3(11):e511-e512.
    View on PubMed
  6. White JS. Incentives in workplace wellness programmes. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 12; 4(12):967-969.
    View on PubMed
  7. Modrek S, Basu S, Harding M, White JS, Bartick MC, Rodriguez E, Rosenberg KD. Does breastfeeding duration decrease child obesity? An instrumental variables analysis. Pediatr Obes. 2017 08; 12(4):304-311.
    View on PubMed
  8. White JS, Hamad R, Li X, Basu S, Ohlsson H, Sundquist J, Sundquist K. Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk: quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 06; 4(6):517-24.
    View on PubMed
  9. White JS, Basu S. Does the benefits schedule of cash assistance programs affect the purchase of temptation goods? Evidence from Peru. J Health Econ. 2016 Mar; 46:70-89.
    View on PubMed
  10. Dow WH, White JS, Bertozzi SM. Incentivizing health care utilization and health outcomes. In Handbook of Global Health Economics and Public Policy, Volume 1, edited by R. Scheffler. London, UK: World Scientific Publishing. 2016.
    View on PubMed
  11. Basu S, Hamad R, White JS, Modrek S, Rehkopf DH, Cullen MR. The EARN-Health Trial: protocol for a randomised controlled trial to identify health effects of a financial savings programme among low-income US adults. BMJ Open. 2015 Oct 06; 5(10):e009366.
    View on PubMed
  12. Li J, White JS, Hu TW, Fong GT, Yuan J. The heterogeneous effects of cigarette prices on brand choice in China: implications for tobacco control policy. Tob Control. 2015 Jul; 24 Suppl 3:iii25-iii32.
    View on PubMed
  13. White JS, Dow WH. Intertemporal choices for health. In Behavioral Economics and Public Health, edited by C.A. Roberto and I. Kawachi. Boston, MA: Oxford University Press. 2015; 27-68.
    View on PubMed
  14. White JS, Dow WH, Rungruanghiranya S. Commitment contracts and team incentives: a randomized controlled trial for smoking cessation in Thailand. Am J Prev Med. 2013 Nov; 45(5):533-42.
    View on PubMed
  15. White JS, Ross H. Smokers' strategic responses to sin taxes: evidence from panel data in Thailand. Health Econ. 2015 Feb; 24(2):127-41.
    View on PubMed
  16. White JS, Li J, Hu TW, Fong GT, Jiang Y. The effect of cigarette prices on brand-switching in China: a longitudinal analysis of data from the ITC China Survey. Tob Control. 2014 Mar; 23 Suppl 1:i54-60.
    View on PubMed
  17. Speizer IS, White JS. The unintended consequences of intended pregnancies: youth, condom use, and HIV transmission in Mozambique. AIDS Educ Prev. 2008 Dec; 20(6):531-46.
    View on PubMed
  18. Barden-O'Fallon JL, Speizer IS, White JS. Association between contraceptive discontinuation and pregnancy intentions in Guatemala. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2008 Jun; 23(6):410-7.
    View on PubMed
  19. White JS, Speizer IS. Can family planning outreach bridge the urban-rural divide in Zambia? BMC Health Serv Res. 2007 Sep 05; 7:143.
    View on PubMed
  20. Mays GP, Claxton G, White J. Managed care rebound? Recent changes in health plans' cost containment strategies. Health Aff (Millwood). 2004 Jul-Dec; Suppl Web Exclusives:W4-427-36.
    View on PubMed

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