The Healthy Nudge
Welcome to The Healthy Nudge . Each month, we'll get you up to speed on the latest developments in policy-relevant health behavioral economics research at CHIBE. Want more frequent updates? Follow us on Twitter @PennCHIBE and visit our website .
Default Language & Advance Directives
How does default language affect the choices of those who complete advance directives? CHIBE's Director, Dr. Kevin Volpp, provides a brief lesson in a sample video from his course in the online Master of Health Care Innovation program through the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine.
The PAIR Center Launches
CHIBE's new sister center, the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center, has officially launched its online presence through a website that highlights its mission of generating high-quality evidence to advance healthcare policies and practices that improve the lives of all people affected by serious illness. The Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science program, led by Dr. Scott Halpern, is a partnership between the PAIR Center and CHIBE.
Pilot Grant Opportunities at CHIBE
Our Center is requesting proposals for three unique pilot funding opportunities. The Penn Roybal pilot program requests proposals from affiliated faculty that translate ideas from behavioral economics into practice, specifically among middle-aged and elderly Americans at risk for premature morbidity and mortality. The deadline for submission of these proposals is November 17th at 5 PM. Additionally, CHIBE's CTSA pilot program is requesting proposals from Penn faculty aimed at either 1.) improving enrollment in clinical trials or 2.) using connected health for population health improvement. The submission deadline for CTSA pilot proposals is November 3rd at 12 PM.
Blog Spotlight
As a founding contributor to the Behavioral Evidence Hub (B-Hub), CHIBE's work is part of an accessible platform that disseminates behavioral findings seamlessly with other problem-solvers across the globe. Do you have insights to share on the B-Hub?
Work-in-Progress Seminar:
Aurelie Ouss, PhD
Assistant Professor of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
11/09 @ 12 PM
104 Stellar-Chance Laboratories
In The News
PA families appear to embrace tougher vaccination laws

End-of-life decisions can be difficult. This doctor thinks 'nudges' can help.

Fitness tracker games may help families get more exercise

Bundled-payment joint replacement programs winning over surgeons

Can a $55 water bottle prevent kidney stones? Penn and CHOP aim to find out.

People who use fitness trackers tend to stick with them for at least six months. There's just one problem.

Fitbit Captivate conference: behavioral economics, HIPAA and more.

Does connectivity help - or hurt - the doctor-patient relationship?

Trump slows efforts to cut health-care costs
 CHIBE Profile
Atheendar Venkataramani, PhD, MD, MPhil recently joined the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and a staff physician at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. As a faculty affiliate at the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics, he focuses on examining the spillover health impacts of social policies.
How might behavioral economics help us to better understand the relationship between economic opportunities and health behaviors and outcomes?
Economic opportunity may shape health behavior in complex ways. Having a pathway to future socioeconomic advancement may raise the returns to investing in one's own health. Less stress and fewer worries about one's future may also free up bandwidth for engaging in health activities. Insights from behavioral economics can complement those from classical economics in understanding these different pathways. 
Describe your main research interests. How do behavioral principles connect with your current work ?
My research thus far has examined the effect of social programs - like college affirmative action or immigration reforms - that conceivably change real or perceived future economic opportunities. These projects have yielded some interesting findings, but a number of questions remain: what are the underlying mechanisms? Is it possible to design interventions that nudge healthy behaviors by appealing to available socioeconomic opportunities? These are directions I would like to pursue.
What role has mentorship played in your career?
My mentors have always told me to focus on the big picture - how is the research I am doing useful to patients or public policy? They've told me that part of thinking that way involves being agnostic about the different levers one can pull to affect change and improve health. Productive approaches can draw from a number of disciplines - and the work here at Penn has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral economics approaches as part of this toolkit.
New Publications

  • Barasz K, John LK, Keenan EA, Norton MI. Pseudo-set framing. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2017;146(10):1460-1477.

The Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts behavioral economics research aimed at reducing the disease burden from major U.S. public health problems. Originally founded within the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics , our mission is to inform health policy, improve healthcare delivery and increase healthy behavior.
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