Research Summary

Justin White, Ph.D., is Associate 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.

Research Funding

  • January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022 - A Pilot Trial of Gamification for Enhancing a Smoking Cessation App., Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA238301
  • January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021 - A Pilot Trial of Gamification for Enhancing a Smoking Cessation App., Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA238301
  • January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021 - A Pilot Trial of Gamification for Enhancing a Smoking Cessation App., Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA238301
  • January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021 - A Pilot Trial of Gamification for Enhancing a Smoking Cessation App., Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA238301


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

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
  • 2010
    Tobacco-Related Disparities Scholarship, Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco
  • 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
  • 2015
    Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association
  • 2018
    Hellman Family Fellowship for Early-Career Faculty

Selected Publications

  1. Falbe J, White JS, Sigala DM, Grummon AH, Solar SE, Powell LM. The Potential for Healthy Checkout Policies to Advance Nutrition Equity. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 22; 13(11).  View on PubMed
  2. Kim KM, White JS, Max W, Chapman SA, Muench U. Evaluation of Clinical and Economic Outcomes Following Implementation of a Medicare Pay-for-Performance Program for Surgical Procedures. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 02; 4(8):e2121115.  View on PubMed
  3. Irish AM, White JS, Modrek S, Hamad R. Paid Family Leave and Mental Health in the U.S.: A Quasi-Experimental Study of State Policies. Am J Prev Med. 2021 08; 61(2):182-191.  View on PubMed
  4. Salloum RG, D'Angelo H, Theis RP, Rolland B, Hohl S, Pauk D, LeLaurin JH, Asvat Y, Chen LS, Day AT, Goldstein AO, Hitsman B, Hudson D, King AC, Lam CY, Lenhoff K, Levinson AH, Prochaska J, Smieliauskas F, Taylor K, Thomas J, Tindle H, Tong E, White JS, Vogel WB, Warren GW, Fiore M. Mixed-methods economic evaluation of the implementation of tobacco treatment programs in National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Implement Sci Commun. 2021 Apr 09; 2(1):41.  View on PubMed
  5. Kadota JL, Nabwire S, Nalugwa T, White JS, Cattamanchi A, Katamba A, Shete PB. Patient Perspectives and Willingness to Accept Incentives for Tuberculosis Diagnostic Evaluation in Uganda. Value Health Reg Issues. 2021 Sep; 25:48-56.  View on PubMed
  6. Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, White JS, Tong M, Hamad R. The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study. Soc Sci Med. 2021 05; 276:113274.  View on PubMed
  7. Boettiger DC, White JS. Effects of a minimum floor Price law on cigarette use in Oakland, California: A static microsimulation model. Prev Med. 2021 04; 145:106444.  View on PubMed
  8. Kim KM, Max W, White JS, Chapman SA, Muench U. Do penalty-based pay-for-performance programs improve surgical care more effectively than other payment strategies? A systematic review. Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2020 Dec; 60:623-630.  View on PubMed
  9. Chaffee BW, Werts M, White JS, Couch ET, Urata J, Cheng J, Kearns C. Beverage Advertisement Receptivity Associated With Sugary Drink Intake and Harm Perceptions Among California Adolescents. Am J Health Promot. 2021 05; 35(4):525-532.  View on PubMed
  10. Buckell J, White JS, Shang C. Can incentive-compatibility reduce hypothetical bias in smokers’ experimental choice behavior? A randomized discrete choice experiment. Journal of Choice Modelling. 2020; (37):100255.  View on PubMed
  11. White JS, Lowenstein C, Srivirojana N, Jampaklay A, Dow WH. Incentive programmes for smoking cessation: cluster randomized trial in workplaces in Thailand. BMJ. 2020 10 14; 371:m3797.  View on PubMed
  12. Ramos-Gomez F, White JS, Lindau HE, Lin TK, Finlayson TL, Liu JX, Gansky SA. Family monetary incentives as a value-based care model for oral hygiene: rationale and design of the BEhavioral EConomics for Oral health iNnovation (BEECON) trial. J Public Health Dent. 2020 Oct 08.  View on PubMed
  13. Onono MA, Rutherford GW, Bukusi EA, White JS, Goosby E, Brindis CD. Political prioritization and the competing definitions of adolescent pregnancy in Kenya: An application of the Public Arenas Model. PLoS One. 2020; 15(9):e0238136.  View on PubMed
  14. White JS, Vasconcelos G, Harding M, Carroll MM, Gardner CD, Basu S, Seligman HK. Heterogeneity in the Effects of Food Vouchers on Nutrition Among Low-Income Adults: A Quantile Regression Analysis. Am J Health Promot. 2021 02; 35(2):279-283.  View on PubMed
  15. Lowenstein C, Dow WH, White JS. Peer effects in smoking cessation: An instrumental variables analysis of a worksite intervention in Thailand. SSM Popul Health. 2020 Dec; 12:100659.  View on PubMed
  16. Hamad R, Öztürk B, Foverskov E, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Bøtker HE, White JS. Association of Neighborhood Disadvantage With Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Events Among Refugees in Denmark. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 08 03; 3(8):e2014196.  View on PubMed
  17. White JS, Ramos-Gomez F, Liu JX, Jue B, Finlayson TL, Garza JR, Crawford AH, Helman S, Santo W, Cheng J, Kahn JG, Gansky SA. Monetary incentives for improving smartphone-measured oral hygiene behaviors in young children: A randomized pilot trial. PLoS One. 2020; 15(7):e0236692.  View on PubMed
  18. Boettiger DC, White JS. Cigarette Pack Prices and Sales Following Policy Changes in California, 2011-2018. Am J Public Health. 2020 07; 110(7):1002-1005.  View on PubMed
  19. Raphael E, White JS, Li X, Cederin K, Glymour MM, Sundquist K, Sundquist J, Hamad R. Neighborhood Deprivation and Mental Health Among Immigrants to Sweden. Epidemiology. 2020 05; 31(3):e25-e27.  View on PubMed
  20. 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. 2020 03 16; 22(3):371-380.  View on PubMed

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