Wesley Yin

Wesley “Wes” Yin is a 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 on leave during the 2023-2024 year, serving as Chief Economist of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Yin’s research focuses on health care, consumer finance, and economic inequality. His recent work studies competition and market power in health care, and the links between health care financing and consumer financial health and well-being.

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, Health Affairs, 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 in the White House Council of Economic Advisers, advancing policing on health care quality, insurance affordability, higher education finance, and housing market stability. Since 2014, Yin has advised the state of California on health care reforms, including the design of state 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  

The Impact of Financial Assistance Programs on Health Care Utilization. 2022. (with Alyce Adams, Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney, Jinglin Wang, and Francis Wong). Forthcoming at American Economic Review: Insights.

Personalized Telephone Outreach Increased Health Insurance Take-Up for Hard-to Reach Populations. 2022. (w/ Rebecca Myerson, Nicholas Tilipman, Andrew Fehrer, Honglin Li, and Isaac Menashe) Health Affairs 41(1): 129–137.

Medical Debt in the United States, 2009-2020. 2021. (with Ray Kluender, Neale Mahoney and Francis Wong) Journal of the American Medical Association 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. 2021. (with Richard Domurat and Isaac Menashe) American Economic Review 111(5): 1549–1574. [Online Appendix] Media Coverage: Tradeoffs Podcast

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

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

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

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

Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines. 2010. (with Nava Ashraf and Dean Karlan) World Development 38(3): 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) Lead article at Annals of Internal Medicine 148(3): 169-177. Annals’ Summary for Patients.

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

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

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

 

Working Papers

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).

Trends in Medical Debt During the COVID Pandemic (with Raymond Kluender, Benedict Guttman-Kenney, Neale Mahoney, Francis Wong, and Xuyang Xia)

 

Other Publications and Policy Articles  

Trends in Medical Debt During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (with Benedict Guttman-Kenney, Raymond Kluender, Neale Mahoney, Francis Wong, and Xuyang Xia) JAMA Health Forum. 2022, 3(5), 2022.

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)

Robert Fairlie

I am a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at UCLA, and a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). I study a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, education, labor, racial, gender and caste inequality, information technology, immigration, health, and development. I strive for my research to have a broad impact by providing rigorous, unbiased and objective evidence on questions that are important for society and often involve highly-charged policy debates. My methodological focus is on conducting randomized control field experiments, employing advanced econometric techniques and identification strategies, and working with and building large administrative datasets. Publications from my research have appeared in leading journals in economics, policy, management, science, and medicine.

 

I received a Ph.D. and M.A. from Northwestern University and B.A. with honors from Stanford University. I have held visiting positions at Stanford University, Yale University, UC Berkeley, and Australian National University. I have received funding for my research from the National Science Foundation, National Academies and Russell Sage Foundation as well as numerous government agencies and foundations, and have testified in front of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Treasury, and the California State Assembly. Recent awards and honors include a joint resolution from the California State Assembly, Choice Academic Title award, and the Bradford-Osborne research award in both 2020 and 2021. I am regularly interviewed by the media to comment on economic, education, entrepreneurship, inequality and policy issues.

 

 

 

My new book on entrepreneurship, job creation and survival just came out at MIT Press.

 

 

 

 

For more information on my research, teaching, and policy work, please visit: https://rfairlie.sites.ucsc.edu/

 

Megan Mullin

Megan Mullin is Professor of Public Policy and holds the Luskin Endowed Chair in Innovation and Sustainability at UCLA. She is Faculty Director of the Luskin Center for Innovation, which partners with civic leaders on research to advance equitable public policy addressing environmental challenges.

Mullin is a political scientist whose research examines how coordination problems, accountability failure, and inequality in environmental risks and benefits shape political response to environmental change. Recent projects focus on the governance and finance of urban water services, public opinion about climate change, and the local politics of climate adaptation. She also has published on federalism, election rules and voter turnout, and local and state institutional design.

Mullin’s work has appeared in Nature, Science, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and other journals in political science, public administration, and planning. She is the recipient of five awards from the American Political Science Association, including the Lynton Keith Caldwell Award for her book, Governing the Tap: Special District Governance and the New Local Politics of Water (MIT Press, 2009). Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and private foundations. She works regularly with policy makers, and her research and commentary have appeared in many national and international media outlets. In 2020, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Mullin received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She served on the faculties at Temple University and Duke University prior to joining UCLA in 2023.

Tierra Bills

Tierra S. Bills is an Assistant Professor of  Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She specializes in the measurement of transportation planning and system outcomes, and travel demand modeling, with a special emphasis on transportation equity. Dr. Bills brings a unique and innovative perspective to the challenge of transportation inequity, aimed at impacting transportation science, practice, and quality of life for disadvantaged communities. She has worked in the transportation equity domain since 2009 and her current work builds off this long track record, including her master’s research, dissertation work, study and training as a Research Scientist at IBM Research, Michigan Society Fellowship research, and previous work as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.

Dr. Bills has extensive training in travel demand modeling and is engaged in ongoing work on representation of transport disadvantaged groups in household travel surveys, which are traditionally used to estimate and validate travel demand models. This is the first step to developing travel models capable of reflecting the preferences and behaviors of disadvantaged travelers and fine-grain transportation equity outcomes. Dr. Bills also works to advance accessibility measurement for transportation project evaluation, and develops strategies for ranking alternative transportation plans using equity-based criteria. Her work is published in a range of journals including Transport Policy and Transportation Research Record, and a recent contribution to the popular planning research press: The Metropole. She also currently serves as a Guest Editor on a Special Issue of Transportation Research Part D.

Dr. Bills has a strong record of advocacy for transportation equity and representation in STEM fields, including providing testimony for the a U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee hearing (see: https://science.house.gov/hearings/field-hearing-smart-mobility-its-a-community-issue), membership on the Equity in Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and co-developing an entry on her research in the ColorMePhD coloring book series (see: https://ce.berkeley.edu/news/2511).

 

Selected Publications

Bills, Tierra (2022). Advancing the Practice of Regional Transportation Equity Analysis: A San Francisco Bay Area Case Study. Transportation Research Part A. (Pending)

Goodspeed, Robert, Meixin Yuan, Aaron Krusniak, and Tierra Bills. (2021). Assessing the Value of New Big Data Sources for Transportation Planning: Benton Harbor, Michigan Case Study. 17th International Conference on Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM).

Bills, Tierra. S., & Carrel, A. L. (2021). Transit Accessibility Measurement Considering Behavioral Adaptations to Reliability. Transportation Research Record, 0361198120986567.

Nahmias-Biran, Bat-hen, Tierra Bills, and Yoram Shiftan. Incorporating Equity Consideration in Transport Project Evaluation: San Francisco Bay Area Case Study. Presented at the 96th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 9th, 2017

Bills, Tierra, and Joan Walker (2017). Looking beyond the mean for equity analysis: Examining distributional impacts of transportation improvements. Transport Policy, 54, 61-69.

Bills, Tierra., Bryant, R., & Bryant, A. W. (2014). Towards a frugal framework for monitoring road quality. In Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), 2014 IEEE 17th International Conference on ITS (pp. 3022-

3027). IEEE.

Bills, Tierra, Elizabeth Sall, and Joan Walker (2012). Activity-based Travel Demand Models and Transportation Equity Analysis: Research Directions and An Exploration of Model Performance. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C.

 

 

Jasmine D. Hill

Jasmine D. Hill is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a sociologist whose scholarship focuses on racial inequality and social mobility for Black Americans. Her current work explores the mechanisms that lift communities of color out of poverty and the ramifications of upward mobility for Black families. Jasmine’s scholarship has been published in top journals such as Social Problems, Teaching Sociology, The Journal of Cultural Economy, and in 2017 she co-edited Inequality in the 21st Century with David B. Grusky (Westview Press). As a publicly engaged scholar, she’s also authored several influential research briefs for policymakers, surveying topics like race, intimate partner violence, and tactics to eliminate extreme poverty.

Her scholarly contributions have been recognized and awarded by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the American Sociological Association, and the Stanford Center for the Comparative Study of Race & Ethnicity. Because of her expertise on matters related to race, inequality, and the labor market, Jasmine is regularly called to design and evaluate anti-racism initiatives with organizations like the Annenberg Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, University of California Students Association, and numerous corporate partners like Soylent, Dollar Shave Club and PocketWatch.

Her work and advocacy have garnered attention from TIME Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and Cheddar News. Jasmine maintains an active speaking, facilitating, and training schedule – working with universities, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations to increase racial equity in our economy. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and she holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University. More information can be found at jasmine-hill.com.

 

Term Course Location Level
Winter 2023 Qualitative Methods UCLA Public Policy Graduate-Level
Spring 2023 Labor Policy and Racial Inequality UCLA Public Policy Graduate-Level

 

Marques Vestal

Marques Vestal is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Critical Black Urbanism. He serves as a Faculty Advisor for Million Dollar Hoods, a community-driven and multidisciplinary initiative documenting the human and fiscal costs of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. He also serves as a historical consultant for the Luskin Center for History and Policy. Marques is a tenant of Los Angeles and a member of the South Central local of the Los Angeles Tenants Union.

Marques is an urban historian studying the social history of residential property in Black Los Angeles during the rebellious twentieth century. His work links property conflict—the everyday contracts, solicitations, complaints, lawsuits, and murders over property—to broader transformations of real estate, urban development, and Black liberation. He argues that this space of incessant conflict is the unwritten housing policy of the United States.

Marques’ research interests are broad, but center on the twentieth-century experience of a few key political relations to land: property, housing insecurity, municipal incapacity, and racial capitalism. Having witnessed, archivally and firsthand, the violence of Los Angeles’ rental housing markets, he is dedicated to projects that advance social housing and horizontal tenant governance.

 

Publications

Marques Vestal and Andrew Klein, “What we should have learned from L.A.’s long history of homelessness,” Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2021. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-02-22/homelessness-encampments-shelter-los-angeles-history

Kirsten Moore-Sheeley et. al. “The Making of a Crisis: A History of Homelessness in Los Angeles,” UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. https://luskincenter.history.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/66/2021/01/LCHP-The-Making-of-A-Crisis-Report.pdf. (February 2021)

Lytle Hernandez, Kelly and Marques Vestal. “Million Dollar Hoods: A Fully-Loaded Cost Accounting of Mass Incarceration in Los Angeles,” Radical History Review. http://www.radicalhistoryreview.org/

Katz, Alisa with Peter Chesney, Lindsay King, and Marques Vestal. “People Are Simply Unable to Pay Rent: What History Tells Us About Rent Control in Los Angeles,” White Paper. Luskin Center for History and Policy, University of California, Los Angeles. (October 2018)

Adam Millard-Ball

Adam Millard-Ball is Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His research and teaching are about transportation, the environment, and urban data science. Trained as an economist, a geographer, and an urban planner, he analyzes the environmental consequences of transportation and land-use decisions, and the effectiveness of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His research uses large-scale geospatial data analysis as well as econometric and qualitative methods.

For more details about Dr. Millard-Ball’s teaching and research, please visit his website. Note that he is on sabbatical for the 2023-24 academic year.

José Loya

José Loya is an Assistant Professor in Urban Planning at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and faculty affiliate with the Chicano Studies Research Center. His research addresses Latino issues in urban areas by connecting ethno-racial inequality and contextual forces at the neighborhood, metropolitan, and national levels. His research discusses several topics related to stratification in homeownership, including ethno-racial, gender, and Latino disparities in mortgage access. José received his PhD. at the University of Pennsylvania in Sociology and holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the Wharton School of Business at Penn. Prior to graduate school, José worked for several years in community development and affordable housing in South Florida.

Kirsten Schwarz

Kirsten Schwarz is an urban ecologist working at the interface of environment, equity, and health. Her research focuses on environmental hazards and amenities in cities and how their distribution impacts minoritized communities. Her work on lead contaminated soils documents how biogeophysical and social variables relate to the spatial patterning of soil lead. Her research on urban tree canopy has revealed large scale patterns related to income and tree canopy as well as historical legacies that impact this relationship. Most recently, Dr. Schwarz led an interdisciplinary team working on a community-engaged green infrastructure design that integrated participatory design and place-based solutions to realizing desired ecosystem services.

Her expertise in science communication and engaging communities in the co-production of science was recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) naming her a Fellow in the Leshner Leadership Institute in the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. Dr. Schwarz’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, AAAS, and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Dr. Schwarz has a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Northern Kentucky University where she directed their Ecological Stewardship Institute.

Selected Publications:

Schwarz, K., A. Berland, and D.L. Herrmann. 2018. Green, but not just: Rethinking environmental justice outcomes in shrinking cities. Sustainable Cities and Society 41:816-821.

Ossola, A., L.A. Schifman, D.L. Herrmann, A.S. Garmestani, K. Schwarz, and M.E. Hopton. 2018. The provision of urban ecosystem services throughout the private-social-public domain: a conceptual framework. Cities and the Environment 11(1): Article 5.

Herrmann, D.L., W-C Chuang, K. Schwarz, T.M. Bowles, A.S. Garmestani, W.D. Shuster, T. Eason, M.E. Hopton, C.R. Allen. 2018. Agroecology for the shrinking city. Sustainability 10(3):675.

Cutts, B.B., J.K. London, S. Meiners, K. Schwarz, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2017. Moving dirt: Soil, lead and the unstable politics of urban gardening. Local Environment 22(8):998-1018.

London, J.K., K. Schwarz, M.L. Cadenasso, B.B. Cutts, C. Mason, J. Lim, K. Valenzuela-Garcia and H. Smith. 2017. Weaving community-university research and action partnerships for environmental justice. Action Research 16(2):173-189.

Schwarz, K., R.V. Pouyat, and I. Yesilonis. 2016. Legacies of lead in charm city’s soil: Lessons from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(2):209.

Herrmann, D.L., K. Schwarz, W.D. Shuster, A. Berland, B.C. Chaffin, A.S. Garmestani, and M.E. Hopton. 2016. Ecology for the shrinking city. BioScience 66(11):965-973.

Schwarz, K., B.B. Cutts, J.K. London, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2016. Growing gardens in shrinking cities: A solution to the soil lead problem? Sustainability 8(2):141.

Cutts, B.B., D. Fang, K. Hornik, J.K. London, K. Schwarz and M.L. Cadenasso. 2016. Media frames and shifting places of environmental (in)justice: a qualitative historical geographic information system method. Environmental Justice 9(1):23-28.

Berland, A., K. Schwarz, D. L. Herrmann, M.E. Hopton. 2015. How environmental justice patterns are shaped by place: terrain and tree canopy in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Cities and the Environment 8(1):Article 1.

Schwarz, K., M. Fragkias, C.G. Boone, W. Zhou, M. McHale, J.M. Grove, J. O’Neil-Dunne, J.P. McFadden, G.L. Buckley, D. Childers, L. Ogden, S. Pincetl, D. Pataki, A. Whitmer, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2015. Trees grow on money: urban tree canopy cover and environmental justice. PLoS ONE 10(4).

Zhou, W., M.L. Cadenasso, K. Schwarz, and S.T.A. Pickett. 2014. Quantifying spatial heterogeneity in urban landscapes: integrating visual interpretation and object-based classification. Remote Sensing 6(4):3369-3386.

Schwarz, K., K.C. Weathers, S.T.A. Pickett, R.G. Lathrop, R.V. Pouyat, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2013. A comparison of three empirically based, spatially explicit predictive models of residential soil Pb concentrations in Baltimore, Maryland USA: understanding the variability within cities. Environmental Geochemistry and Health 35(4):495-510.

Schwarz, K., S.T.A. Pickett, R.G. Lathrop, K.C. Weathers, R.V. Pouyat, and M.L. Cadenasso.  2012. The effects of the urban built environment on the spatial distribution of lead in residential soils. Environmental Pollution 163:32-39.

Osmond, D.L., N.M. Nadkarni, C.T. Driscoll, E. Andrews, A.J. Gold, S.R. Broussard Allred, A.R. Berkowitz, M.W. Klemens, T.L. Loecke, M.A. McGarry, K. Schwarz, M.L. Washington and P.M. Groffman. 2010. The role of interface organizations in science communication and understanding. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(6):306-313.

Boone, C.G., M.L. Cadenasso, J.M. Grove, K. Schwarz, and G.L. Buckley. 2010. Landscape, vegetation characteristics, and group identity in an urban and suburban watershed: why the 60s matter. Urban Ecosystems 13(3):255-271.

Zhou, W., K. Schwarz, and M.L. Cadenasso. 2010. Mapping urban landscape heterogeneity: agreement between visual interpretation and digital classification approaches. Landscape Ecology 25(1):53-67.

Cadenasso, M.L., S.T.A. Pickett, and K. Schwarz. 2007. Spatial heterogeneity in urban ecosystems: reconceptualizing land cover and a framework for classification. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(2):80-88.

Grove, J.M., M.L. Cadenasso, W.R. Burch, Jr., S.T.A. Pickett, K.Schwarz, J. O’Neil-Dunne, M. Wilson, A. Troy, and C.Boone. 2006. Data and methods comparing social structure and vegetation structure of urban neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. Society and Natural Resources 19:117-136.