Research Summary

Justin White, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at Boston University School of Public Health. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF School of Medicine. Dr. White is a health economist who conducts research to evaluate the effects of interventions and policies on behavioral risk factors for chronic disease and related health outcomes in underserved populations. Much of his recent work has focused on tobacco use and nutrition. In one stream of research, Dr. White applies quasi-experimental econometric techniques to evaluate the effects of social and economic policies on mitigating chronic disease risk. Recent and ongoing evaluation projects focus on: taxation of unhealthy products, cash and food assistance programs, and poverty alleviation programs. In a second stream, he designs and implements incentive-based interventions to change health behavior among low-income groups, evaluated through randomized trials and informed by insights from the field of behavioral economics. Recent and ongoing interventional studies focus on: smoking cessation and prevention, diet, and oral health.

Dr. White holds a PhD in health policy and a concurrent MA in economics from UC Berkeley and an MSPH in health policy from UNC Chapel Hill. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease prevention at Stanford University's Prevention Research Center.

Research Funding

  • 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. Schwartz GL, Chiang AY, Wang G, Kim MH, White JS, Hamad R. Testing mediating pathways between school segregation and health: Evidence on peer prejudice and health behaviors. Soc Sci Med. 2023 Sep 07; 335:116214.  View on PubMed
  2. White JS, Salem MK, Toussaert S, Westmaas JL, Raiff BR, Crane D, Warrender E, Lyles C, Abroms L, Thrul J. Developing a Game (Inner Dragon) Within a Leading Smartphone App for Smoking Cessation: Design and Feasibility Evaluation Study. JMIR Serious Games. 2023 Aug 11; 11:e46602.  View on PubMed
  3. Villas-Boas S, Kaplan S, White JS, Hsia RY. Patterns of US Mental Health-Related Emergency Department Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 07 03; 6(7):e2322720.  View on PubMed
  4. Villas-Boas SB, White JS, Kaplan S, Hsia RY. Trends in depression risk before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One. 2023; 18(5):e0285282.  View on PubMed
  5. Pluta K, Hohl SD, D'Angelo H, Ostroff JS, Shelley D, Asvat Y, Chen LS, Cummings KM, Dahl N, Day AT, Fleisher L, Goldstein AO, Hayes R, Hitsman B, Buckles DH, King AC, Lam CY, Lenhoff K, Levinson AH, Minion M, Presant C, Prochaska JJ, Shoenbill K, Simmons V, Taylor K, Tindle H, Tong E, White JS, Wiseman KP, Warren GW, Baker TB, Rolland B, Fiore MC, Salloum RG. Data envelopment analysis to evaluate the efficiency of tobacco treatment programs in the NCI Moonshot Cancer Center Cessation Initiative. Implement Sci Commun. 2023 May 11; 4(1):50.  View on PubMed
  6. White JS, Basu S, Kaplan S, Madsen KA, Villas-Boas SB, Schillinger D. Evaluation of the sugar-sweetened beverage tax in Oakland, United States, 2015-2019: A quasi-experimental and cost-effectiveness study. PLoS Med. 2023 04; 20(4):e1004212.  View on PubMed
  7. Yuan P, Westmaas JL, Thrul J, Toussaert S, Hilton JF, White JS. Effectiveness of Peer-Support Interventions for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nicotine Tob Res. 2023 Apr 12.  View on PubMed
  8. Jackson KE, Hamad R, Karasek D, White JS. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes and Perinatal Health: A Quasi-Experimental Study. Am J Prev Med. 2023 Mar 25.  View on PubMed
  9. Kim MH, Foverskov E, Frøslev T, White JS, Glymour MM, Hainmueller J, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Hamad R. Neighborhood disadvantage and the risk of dementia and mortality among refugees to Denmark: A quasi-experimental study. SSM Popul Health. 2023 Mar; 21:101312.  View on PubMed
  10. Lyu JC, Afolabi A, White JS, Ling PM. Perceptions and Aspirations Toward Peer Mentoring in Social Media-Based Electronic Cigarette Cessation Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults: Focus Group Study. JMIR Form Res. 2022 Dec 01; 6(12):e42538.  View on PubMed
  11. Foverskov E, White JS, Frøslev T, Sørensen HT, Hamad R. Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Among Refugee Children and Adolescents Living in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods. JAMA Pediatr. 2022 11 01; 176(11):1107-1114.  View on PubMed
  12. Roh ME, Mpimbaza A, Oundo B, Irish A, Murphy M, Wu SL, White JS, Shiboski S, Glymour MM, Gosling R, Dorsey G, Sturrock H. Association between indoor residual spraying and pregnancy outcomes: a quasi-experimental study from Uganda. Int J Epidemiol. 2022 10 13; 51(5):1489-1501.  View on PubMed
  13. Matthay EC, Smith ML, Glymour MM, White JS, Gradus JL. Opportunities and challenges in using instrumental variables to study causal effects in nonrandomized stress and trauma research. Psychol Trauma. 2023 Sep; 15(6):917-929.  View on PubMed
  14. Kim MH, Schwartz GL, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon SF, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Collin DF, Inamdar PP, Wang G, Hamad R. School racial segregation and long-term cardiovascular health among Black adults in the US: A quasi-experimental study. PLoS Med. 2022 06; 19(6):e1004031.  View on PubMed
  15. Foverskov E, White JS, Norredam M, Frøslev T, Kim MH, Glymour MM, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Hamad R. Neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and psychiatric disorders among refugees: a population-based, quasi-experimental study in Denmark. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2023 May; 58(5):711-721.  View on PubMed
  16. Wang G, Schwartz GL, Kim MH, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon S, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Inamdar PP, Hamad R. School Racial Segregation and the Health of Black Children. Pediatrics. 2022 05 01; 149(5).  View on PubMed
  17. Triyana M, White JS. Non-monetary incentives for tobacco prevention among youth in Indonesia. J Health Econ. 2022 05; 83:102620.  View on PubMed
  18. 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
  19. 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 08 02; 4(8):e2121115.  View on PubMed
  20. 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

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