The Healthy Nudge
March 2020
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 .
Fear and the coronavirus
person washing hands in sink
CHIBE faculty have been tapped to weigh in on the impact of COVID-19. Read recent media coverage involving some of our experts.

Behavioral economics and safe firearm storage
glock gun on black background
Estimates suggest that around 4.6 million children live in homes with at least 1 loaded and unlocked firearm. In this Pediatrics article, CHIBE Associate Director Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, and colleagues use behavioral economic theory to identify specific cognitive biases (ie, present bias; in-group, out-group bias; and the availability heuristic) that may influence parental decision-making around firearm storage. Read the paper here.
How psychological insights can inform food policies
salad bar food picture
In American Psychologist, Director of the PEACH Lab and member of CHIBE's leadership team Christina Roberto, PhD , explores how insights from psychology and behavioral economics help explain why it is hard to maintain healthy eating habits in modern food environments. Read the paper here.
CHIBE Profile: Lizzie Bair, MS
lizzie bair headshot
Lizzie Bair, MS , supports the statistical needs of a wide range of projects, including prospective policy evaluations, clinical trials, and retrospective observational studies.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on a series of retrospective studies for Dr. Venkataramani that look at how fluctuations in economic opportunity – employment booms and busts – affect health and mortality. I’m also working on a clinical trial looking at the impact of HIV self-tests among high-risk Kenyan women run by Dr. Thirumurthy. And finally, I’m involved in the Kentucky 1115 Waiver evaluation.

What do you wish more people knew about your role?
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked the same statistical or data question twice. All of us statistical analysts work on such a diverse range of projects, and with so many different kinds of collaborators. We never know everything we need to at the start of a project, and we’re always learning on the job. So it’s not a bad thing if your analyst says: “I don’t know!”

What do you find rewarding about your work?
I love getting to see how all the team member’s efforts come together to shape a project. Statistician seems like a lonely role, but we actually benefit from the collective knowledge and input of everyone else on the project – investigators, project managers, CRCs, and students. Everyone brings different perspectives and nuances of the study and data to the table, and it’s their contributions that drive the quality of our analyses.
Funding Opportunities
Quartet Pilot Research Project Competition
CHIBE, Pension Research Council and Boettner Center, the Population Aging Research Center, and the Population Studies Center invite investigators to submit pilot proposals for the annual FY 2020-2021 Quartet Pilot Program competition.The funds are targeted to support small-scale, innovative or exploratory projects with a duration of one year. Proposals focusing on population health, life-course and healthy aging are encouraged. Apply by March 15.
CTSA Pilot Program
In partnership with the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, CHIBE is inviting proposals for Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) pilot projects from ITMAT Members and Associate Members addressing 1.) improvement of enrollment and retention in clinical trials and 2.) improvement of population health outcomes or health behavior through the use of connected health interventions. Proposals are due by Wednesday, March 25, 2020, for a project start date of June 1, 2020.
Research Seminar with Jeff Linder
March 27 at 12 PM
Colonial Penn Center
3641 Locust Walk

Jeff Linder, MD, MPH, FACP, the Michael A. Gertz Professor of Medicin, Chief of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Northwestern University, will speak at a seminar cosponsored by LDI. Learn more here.
Research Seminar with Emily Kroshus
April 9 at 12 PM
416-417 Stemmler Hall
3450 Hamilton Walk

Emily Kroshus, ScD, MPH, is a Research Assistant Professor at University of Washington in the Department of Pediatrics. Learn more here.
Penn proposal lands in top 100 in MacArthur Foundation $100 million competition
A proposal spearheaded by CHIBE Associate Directors Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD , and Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, has been named in the Top 100 in the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change competition , which offers a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges. The collaboration between CHIBE, the Ezintsha unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and Discovery Vitality (part of South Africa’s largest private insurance company) seeks to implement behavioral interventions that will help to end South Africa’s HIV epidemic. Read more here on CHIBE's blog, or read the Penn Medicine blog post here.
ALACRITY Spotlight
alacrity retreat p50 2020
On February 10, Penn’s P50 ALACRITY Center hosted its second annual winter retreat. The half-day event convened key stakeholders from Penn and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) to reflect on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from efforts to support EBP implementation in Philadelphia through its Evidence-based Practice and Innovation Center (EPIC), as well as to chart its vision and strategic initiatives for the future. To read more, see this piece from LDI’s Hoag Levins.
Selected Media Coverage
Selected New Publications
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 health care delivery, and increase healthy behavior.