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NBER Roybal Center for Behavior Change in Health

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National Bureau of Economic Research

Cambridge, MA

Overall Health outcomes are affected by a myriad of mechanisms, including behaviors. An important question is how such behaviors might be influenced in order to improve health outcomes on a broad population-wide scale. The NBER Roybal Center explores this question by conducting carefully-designed, experimental interventions with analytic and theoretical foundations in the behavioral sciences. The interventions are selected to be cost-effective and scalable. Among the categories of health-related behavior we plan to study are interventions to: improve nutrition, increase exercise, overcome addiction to drugs, promote preventive care, improve medical adherence, and improve the decisions of health care providers including applications of machine learning.


The research plan is strengthened by a partnership with Geisinger Clinic, a non-profit health care network and insurer with a rich history of innovative delivery reforms and experimental research to improve population health in an active, well-integrated, health care delivery and community health setting. The NBER-Geisinger partnership provides a core infrastructure for implementing experimental interventions on-site with an engaged and committed health care delivery partner. The Center also engages a collaborative network of leading behavioral scientists from multiple disciplines who conduct the experimental interventions, share research activities and findings, collaborate on joint projects, and brainstorm new intervention opportunities, building from findings in basic science.


Joseph Doyle, Ph.D.

Program Director, Primary Investigator

David Laibson, Ph.D.

Program Director, Primary Investigator

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