Wesley Yin

Wesley “Wes” Yin is an Associate Professor of Economics at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and the Anderson School of Management. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Faculty Affiliate at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT. He is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Department of Public Policy at the Luskin School.

Yin’s research focuses on health care, consumer finance and protections, and economic inequality. His recent work analyzes the prevalence of medical debt and its impact on disparities, well-being and financial health; as well as the consequences of health care pricing reforms, insurance marketplace design, and rising industry market power.

His work has been published in leading economics and policy outlets such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, JAMA and the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, and has been featured in or he has written for media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, Vox, and others.

From 2012 to 2014, Yin served in the Obama Administration as Acting Chief Economist and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomic Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and as a Senior Economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where he advanced policies aimed at reducing student debt burden, improving affordability and quality of health care, and improving housing market stability and low-income home-ownership. Since 2014, Yin has advised the state of California on health care reforms, including the design of the recent expansion of state premium subsidies for marketplace insurance.

Previously, he was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago and Boston University, and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy at Harvard University. He received his PhD in economics from Princeton University.

 

Selected Publications  

Medical Debt in the United States, 2009-2020 (with Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney and Francis Wong) the Journal of the American Medical Association July 20, 2021 Vol 326(3). Media Coverage: NY Times, Washington Post, Vox, Marketwatch, CBS Evening News, Marketplace. JAMA editorial.

The Role of Behavioral Frictions in Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment and Risk: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Richard Domurat and Isaac Menashe) American Economic Review, May 2021, Vol. 111(5) [Online Appendix] Media Coverage: Tradeoffs Podcast

The Market for High-Quality Medicine: Retail Chain Entry and Drug Quality in India (with Daniel Bennett) Review of Economics and Statistics, March 2019, Volume 101(1) p.76-90 [Appendix]

Insurers’ Negotiating Leverage and the External Effect of Medicare Part D (with Darius Lakdawalla), Review of Economics and Statistics,  97:2 p.314-331 May 2015 (an earlier version appears as NBER working paper no. 16251). Media coverage: New Yorker

R&D Policy, Agency Costs and Innovation in Personalized Medicine, Journal of Health Economics, September 2009, 28(5), pp. 950-962

Market Incentives and Pharmaceutical Innovation, Journal of Health Economics, July 2008, 27(4), pp. 1060-1077

Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines (with Nava Ashraf and Dean Karlan) World Development, 2010, 38(3), pages 333-344

The Effect of the Medicare Part D Prescription Benefit on Drug Utilization and Expenditures (with Anirban Basu, James Zhang, Atonu Rabbani, David Meltzer, Caleb Alexander) Annals of Internal Medicine, Lead article, February 2008, 148:3 pp. 169-177. Annals’ Summary for Patients.

Designing Targeting Schemes with Poverty Maps: Does Disaggregation Help? (with Berk Özler, Chris Elbers, Tomoki Fujii, Peter Lanjouw), Journal of Development Economics, May 2007, 83(1)

Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines (with Nava Ashraf and Dean Karlan) Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2006, 121(2). Winner of TIAA-CREF 2006 Certificate of Excellence

Deposit Collectors (with Nava Ashraf and Dean Karlan), Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy, March 2006, 6(2), Article 5

 

Working Papers

Provider Market Power and Adverse Selection in Health Insurance Markets (with Nicholas Tilipman)

The Impact of Financial Assistance Programs on Health Care Utilization (with Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney and Francis Wong). NBER Working Paper No. 29227. Submitted.

The Burden of Medical Debt and the Impact of Debt Forgiveness (with Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney and Francis Wong). J-PAL Summary. AEA Pre-registration 1 (Old Debt). AEA Pre-registration 2 (Young Debt).

Personalized Telephone Outreach Increased Health Insurance Take-Up for Hard-to Reach Populations: A Field Experiment (w/ Rebecca Myerson, Nicholas Tilipman, Andrew Fehrer, Honglin Li, and Isaac Menashe) Under revision at Health Affairs

The Clinical and Economic Consequences of Reimbursement Reforms in Health Care (with Amanda Starc and Darius Lakdawalla)

 

Other Publications and Policy Articles  

Options To Improve Affordability In California’s Individual Health Insurance Market,” (with Peter Lee, Katie Ravel and Nicholas Tilipman), a Covered California report for Gov. Newsom, California State Senate and State Assembly pursuant to AB1810, February, 2019

How retail drug markets in poor countries develop” (with Dan Bennett) VoxDev.org, August, 13th, 2018.

Potential Impacts of Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson on Californians and the Individual Health Insurance Market” (with John Bertko) Covered California Report, September 25, 2017

Evaluating the Potential Consequences of Terminating Direct Federal Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) Funding” (with Richard Domurat) Covered California Report, January 26, 2017  [Appendix]

Trump’s “populist” economic proposals come with massive catches. Here’s what to watch for.” Vox, November 18, 2016

Strengthening Risk Protection through Private Long-Term Care Insurance. Brookings Institution, Hamilton Project Discussion Paper 2015-06, June 2015. Policy Brief.

Value of Survival Gains in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (with John Penrod, J. Ross Maclean, Darius Lakdawalla and Tomas Philipson) American Journal of Managed Care 2012 Nov;18(11 Suppl):S257-64

The impact of Medicare Part D on Medicare-Medicaid Dual-eligible Beneficiaries’ Prescription Utilization and Expenditures (with Caleb Alexander and Anirban Basu), Health Services Research, February 2010, 45(1), pp. 133-151   

Valuing health technologies at NICE: Recommendations for Improved Incorporation of Treatment Value in HTA (with Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla and Tomas Philipson) Health Economics October 2010, 10(11) pp. 1109-1116

Solutions and Challenges to Curing Global Health Inequality Innovations 2(4), October 2007, 2(4), pp. 72-80

Testing Savings Product Innovations Using an Experimental Methodology (with Nava Ashraf and Dean Karlan), Asian Development Bank, Economics and Research Department Technical Paper No. 8. November, 2003

A Review of Commitment Savings Products in Developing Countries (with Nava Ashraf, Nathalie Gons, Dean Karlan) ERD Working Paper, July 2003.

 

Current Teaching

Public Finance and the Economics of Inequality (Econ 415)

Health Care Finance and Management (MBA and MPP elective) (MGMT298 & PP290)

Econometrics for Policy Analysis (MPP Core) (PP208)

Applied Policy Project (APP) Capstone Advisor (PP298A-D)

Brian D. Taylor

Brian Taylor is Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA.

Professor Taylor’s research centers on transportation policy and planning – most of it conducted in close collaboration with his many exceptional students.  His students have won dozens of national awards for their work, and today hold positions at the highest levels of planning analysis, teaching, and practice. 

Professor Taylor explores how society pays for transportation systems and how these systems in turn serve the needs of people who – because of low income, disability, location, or age – have lower levels of mobility.  Topically, his research examines travel behavior, transportation economics & finance, and politics & planning.

His research on travel behavior has examined (1) the social, economic, and spatial factors explaining public transit use, (2) ways to cost-effectively increase public transit use, (3) how and why travel patterns vary by race/ethnicity, sex, age, and income, (4) the emerging travel patterns teens and young adults, (5) gender divisions of household labor and travel, (6) the effect of travel experience on how people perceive opportunities, (7) the role of walking, waiting, and transferring on travel choices, and (8) the equity implications of new shared mobility systems.

A principal focus of his research is the politics of transportation economics & finance, including (1) alternative ways to evaluate the access and economic effects of traffic congestion on people, firms, and regional economies, (2) the history of freeway planning and finance, (3) emerging trends in pricing road use, (4) the equity of alternative forms of transportation pricing and finance, (5) linking of subsidies to public transit performance, and (6) measuring equity in public transit pricing and finance.

The politics of planning practice inform Professor Taylor’s teaching, which regularly includes courses on Transportation and Land Use: Urban Form, Public Transit and Shared Mobility, Transportation Economics, Finance, and Policy, courses in research design for planners, and, occasionally, the Comparative International Transportation Workshop.  Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Taylor was a planning faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and before that he was a planner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Some recent publications (current and former student co-authors listed in italics)

 

Cities, Roads, & Congestion

Ding, Hao and Brian D. Taylor.  Forthcoming.  “Traffic Trumps All:  Examining the Effect of Traffic Impact Analyses on Urban Housing,” Journal of Planning Literature.

Taylor, Brian D.  and Yu Hong Hwang.  2020.  “The Eighty-Five Percent Solution: A Historical Look at Crowdsourcing Speed Limits and the Question of Safety,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2674(9):  346-357.

Osman, Taner, Trevor Thomas, Andrew Mondschein, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2018.  “Does Traffic Congestion Influence the Location of New Business Establishments? An Analysis of the San Francisco Bay Area,” Urban Studies, 56(5):  1026-1041.

Thomas, Trevor, Andrew Mondschein, Taner Osman, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2018.  “Not so fast? Examining neighborhood level effects of traffic congestion on job access,” Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice, 113:  529-541.

Mondschein, Andrew and Brian D.  Taylor.  2017.  “Is traffic congestion overrated? Examining the highly variable effects of congestion on travel and accessibility,” Journal of Transport Geography, 64: 65-76.

Brown, Anne, Brian D.  Taylor, and Martin Wachs.  2016.  “The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Media Messaging and Traveler Responses to “Carmageddon” in Los Angeles,” Public Works Management & Policy, 22(3): 275 –293.

Public Transit & Shared Mobility

Wasserman, Jacob and Brian D. Taylor.  Forthcoming.  “Transit Blues in the Golden State:  Regional Transit Ridership Trends in California,” Journal of Public Transportation.

Shockley, Daniel B., Julia Salinas, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2016.  “Making Headways: An Analysis of Smart Cards and Bus Dwell Time in Los Angeles,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2539(05): 40-47.

Brown, Anne, Evelyn Blumenberg, Brian D.  Taylor, Kelcie Ralph, and Carole Turley Voulgaris.  2016.  “A Taste for Transit? Analyzing Public Transit Use Trends Among Youth,” Journal of Public Transportation, 19(1): 49-67.

Voulgaris, Carole Turley, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2015.  “Planning for Pedestrian Flows in Rail Rapid Transit Stations: Lessons from the State of Current Knowledge and Practice,” Journal of Public Transportation, 18(3): 1-14.

Yoh, Allison, Brian D.  Taylor, and John Gahbauer.  2015.  “Does Transit Mean Business? Reconciling Economic, Organizational, and Political Perspectives on Variable Transit Fares,” Public Works Management & Policy, 21(2): 157-172.

Taylor, Brian D.  and Camille N.Y.  Fink.  2013.  “Explaining transit ridership: What has the evidence shown?Transportation Letters: The International Journal of Transportation Research, 5(1): 15-26.

Transportation Equity

Lederman, Jaimee, Anne Brown, Brian D.  Taylor, and Martin Wachs.  2018.  “Arguing over Transportation Sales Taxes: An Analysis of Equity Debates in Transportation Ballot Measures,” Urban Affairs Review, 56(2):  640-670.

Smart, Michael J., Anne Brown, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2017.  “Sex or Sexuality? Analyzing the Division of Labor and Travel in Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Households,” Travel Behaviour and Society, 6(2017): 75-82.

Taylor, Brian D.  and Eric A.  Morris.  2015.  “Public transportation objectives and rider demographics: Are transit’s priorities poor public policy?Transportation, 42(2): 347-367.

Taylor, Brian D.  and Rebecca Kalauskas.  2010.  “Addressing Equity in Political Debates over Road Pricing: Lessons from Recent Projects,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2187: 44-52.

Taylor, Brian D.  and Alexandra T.  Norton.  2009. “Paying for Transportation: What’s a Fair Price?Journal of Planning Literature, 24(1): 22-36.

Schweitzer, Lisa and Brian D.  Taylor.  2008.  “Just pricing: The distributional effects of congestion pricing and sales taxes,” Transportation, 35(6): 797-812.

Transportation, Land Use, & Urban Form

Siddiq, Fariba and Brian D. Taylor.  Forthcoming.  “Tools of the Trade? Assessing the Progress of Accessibility Measures for Planning Practice,” Journal of the American Planning Association.

Paul, Julene and Brian D. Taylor.  2021. “Who Lives in Transit-friendly Neighborhoods?  An Analysis of California Neighborhoods over Time,” Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

Blumenberg, Evelyn, Anne Brown, Kelcie Ralph, Brian D.  Taylor, and Carole Turley Voulgaris.  2019.  “A resurgence in urban living? Trends in residential location patterns of young and older adults since 2000,” Urban Geography, 40(9):  1375-1397.

Voulgaris, Carole Turley, Brian D.  Taylor, Evelyn Blumenberg, Anne Brown, and Kelcie Ralph.  2017.  “Synergistic Neighborhood Relationships with Travel Behavior: An Analysis of Travel in 30,000 U.S.  Neighborhoods,” Journal of Transport and Land Use, 10(1):  437-461.

Ralph, Kelcie, Carole Turley Voulgaris, Anne Brown, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2016.  “Millennials, built form, and travel: Insights from a nationwide typology of U.S. neighborhoods,” Journal of Transport Geography, 57: 218–226.

Transportation Policy & Finance

Brown, Anne, Jaimee Lederman, Brian D. Taylor, and Martin Wachs.  2020. “Analyzing voter support for California’s local option sales taxes for transportation,Transportation, published online.

Lederman, Jaimee, Anne Brown, Brian D.  Taylor, and Martin Wachs.  2018.  “Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Local Option Transportation Sales Taxes in California,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2672(4): 13-22.

Morris, Eric A, Jeffrey R.  Brown, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2016.  “Negotiating a Financial Package for Freeways: California’s 1947 Collier-Burns Highway Act and the Creation of Highway Trust Funds,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2552(03): 16-22.

Lederman, Jaimee, Mark Garrett, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2016.  “Fault-y Reasoning: Navigating the Liability Terrain in Intelligent Transportation Systems,” Public Works Management & Policy, 21(1): 5-27.

Lederman, Jaimee, Brian D.  Taylor, and Mark Garrett.  2016.  “A Private Matter: The Implications of Privacy Regulations for Intelligent Transportation Systems,” Transportation Planning & Technology, 39(2):115-135.

Travel Behavior

Schouten, Andrew, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Brian D. Taylor.  Forthcoming.  “Rating the Composition: Deconstructing the Demand-Side Effects on Transit Use Changes in California,” Travel Behaviour & Society.

Schouten, Andrew, Brian D. Taylor, and Evelyn Blumenberg.  2021.  “Who’s on Board?  Examining the Changing Characteristics of Transit Riders Using Latent Profile Analysis,” Transportation Research Record:  Journal of the Transportation Research Board, published online.

Turley, Carole Voulgaris, Michael J.  Smart, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2017.  “Tired of Commuting? Relationships among Journeys to School, Sleep, and Exercise among American Teenagers,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, 39(2):  142-154.

Blumenberg, Evelyn, Kelcie Ralph, Michael Smart, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2016.  “Who Knows About Kids These Days? Analyzing the Determinants of Youth and Adult Mobility in the U.S.  between 1990 and 2009,” Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice, 93:  39-54.  (Authors listed alphabetically).

Mondschein, Andrew, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Brian D.  Taylor.  2010.  “Accessibility and Cognition: The Effect of Transport Mode on Spatial Knowledge,” Urban Studies, 47(4): 845-866.