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.

His 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 consumer 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, and the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, and has been featured in or he has written for media outlets such as the 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 Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, 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.

 

Working Papers

The Role of Behavioral Frictions in Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment and Risk: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Richard Domurat and Isaac Menashe) Conditionally accepted at the American Economic Review [Online Appendix]

Medical Debt in America: Scale, Prevalence, and Effects on Patient Financial Health (with Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney and Francis Wong)

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

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).

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

 

Selected Publications  

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)

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

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

 

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

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

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)

Transportation Equity

Brown, Anne and Brian D. Taylor. 2018. “Bridging the Gap between Mobility Haves and Have-Nots,” in Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future, Daniel Sperling, Editor. Washington DC: Island Press. Pages 131-150.

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, (October): 1-16.

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.

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.

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., Kelcie Ralph, and Michael Smart. 2015. “What Explains the Gender Gap in Schlepping? Testing Various Explanations for Gender Differences in Household-Serving Travel,” Social Science Quarterly, 96(5): 1493-1510.

Schweitzer, Lisa and Brian D. Taylor. 2010. “Just Road Pricing,” Access, 36: 2-7.

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.

 

Millennials and Travel

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, published online, April.

Blumenberg, Evelyn and Brian D. Taylor. 2018. “Millennial Travel: Who Knows About Kids These Days? Sweeping conclusions about the location and travel desires of millennials may be premature,” Transfers, 1: 1-6.

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): 1-13.

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(December 2016): 218–226.

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(November 2016): 39-54.

 

Reigniting Public Transit

Manville, Michael, Brian D. Taylor, and Evelyn Blumenberg. 2018. “Transit in the 2000s: Where Does It Stand and Where Is It Headed?.” Journal of Public Transportation, 21 (1): 104-118.

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.

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.

Iseki, Hiroyuki, Michael Smart, Brian D. Taylor, and Allison Yoh. 2012. “Thinking Outside the Bus,” Access, 40: 9-15.

Yoh, Allison, Hiroyuki Iseki, Michael Smart, and Brian D. Taylor. 2012. “Hate to Wait: Effects of Wait  Time on Public Transit Travelers’ Perceptions,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2216: 116-124.

Iseki, Hiroyuki and Brian D. Taylor. 2010. “Style versus Service? An Analysis of User Perceptions of Transit Stops and Stations,” Journal of Public Transportation, 13(3): 39-63.

Iseki, Hiroyuki and Brian D. Taylor. 2009. “Not All Transfers Are Created Equal: Towards a Framework Relating Transfer Connectivity to Travel Behaviour,” Transport Reviews, 29(6): 777-800.

Taylor, Brian D., Douglas Miller, Hiroyuki Iseki, and Camille Fink. 2009. “Nature and/or nurture? Analyzing the determinants of transit ridership across U.S. urbanized areas,” Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice, 43(1): 60-77.

 

Cities, Roads, Travel, and Congestion

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, published online.

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(July): 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(October): 65-76.

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(2): 1-25.

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.

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.  [Selected by the Transportation Research Board for the 2016 Charley V. Wootan Award as the best paper in transportation policy and organization]

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.

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.

Brown, Jeffrey R., Eric A. Morris, and Brian D. Taylor. 2009. “Planning for Cars in Cities: Planners, Engineers, and Freeways in the 20th Century,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Special Centennial Issue, 75(2): 161-177.  [Translated into Mandarin and reprinted in 2010 in Urban Transport of China, 8(1): 81-94.]

Taylor, Brian D., Eugene J. Kim, and John E. Gahbauer. 2009. “The Thin Red Line: A Case Study of Political Influence on Transportation Planning Practice,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, 29(2): 173-193.