Health-Focused Public Economics

Public economics studies how government can improve social welfare. Public economists study how the government interacts with markets, particularly with respect to market failures, when the market provision of goods and services are inefficiently or inequitably provided. Researchers in this field evaluate the effects of legal and regulatory policy, including taxation and spending, often focusing on healthcare, labor, and education. Most of the public economics faculty members at UNM are involved in health-related projects, including social determinants of health; substance use disorders; medical cannabis; safety net healthcare; and social insurance.

Our faculty have received funding from a wide range of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Economics Association, American Academy of Neurology, Social Security Administration, Robert Wood John Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, Brindle Foundation, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. Reserve Fund Program, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Bureau of Economic Research, and a several State of New Mexico agencies, such as the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, Children, Youth and Families Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Senior graduate students in the public economics field are eligible for the Gerald Boyle Award. The UNM Public Economics faculty is diverse in gender, race, and ethnicity, and welcome students from all backgrounds.   

Our graduates place in academia, government, and the private sector with recent placements at Tulane University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Auckland University, the United States Food and Drug Administration, Anthem, and Deloitte.  

Public Economics Faculty

Melissa Binder, PhD, Columbia University

Brady Horn, PhD, Washington State University

Xiaoxue Li, PhD, Syracuse University

Richard Santos, PhD, Michigan State University

Sarah Stith, PhD, University of Michigan

David van der Goes, PhD, Lehigh University