Michael Darden, PhD

Associate Professor
Areas of Interest
Economics for Decision-Making Health Care Markets Payment Reform Tobacco Regulation

Dr. Michael Darden is an empirical economist working on understanding the dynamics of health care markets, with a specific interest in the roles of information and quality. His work spans both demand and supply side health economics. For example, he has written on such diverse topics as how smokers evaluate personalized health information and the extent to which Medicare quality star ratings differentiate Medicare Advantage plans. He is currently working on a study of the unintended consequences of pay-for-performance schemes with respect to hospital/insurer bargaining.  

He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011.  Since then, he has taught at Tulane University and the George Washington University. In 2018, he was appointed as a Research Faculty Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  

Honors and distinctions

  • 2012 Student Paper Award, American Society of Health Economists - Awarded biennially for the best sole authored student paper in health economics in the United States.

Selected publications

  • "Smoking, Morbidity, and Mortality: Evidence from a Long Panel," (2018), with Donna Gilleskie and Koleman Strumpf. International Economic Review: Forthcoming.
  • "Smoking, Expectations, and Health: A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Lifetime Smoking Behavior" (2017). Journal of Political Economy. Volume 125, Number 4. 1465--1522.
  • "Supply-side Responses to Public Quality Ratings: Evidence from Medicare Advantage'' (2017), with Ian McCarthy. American Journal of Health Economics. 3(2), 140--164.
  • "Comprehensive Indoor Smoking Bans and Smoking Prevalence: Evidence at the State Level" (2016), with Thomas Carton, John Levendis, Sang Lee, and Iben Ricket. American Journal of Health Economics. 2(4), 535--556. 
  • "The Effects of Parental Health Shocks on Adult Offspring Smoking Behavior: Evidence from a Long Panel" (2016),  with Donna Gilleskie.  Health Economics. 25: 939-954.
  • "The Star Treatment: Estimating the Impact of Star Ratings on Medicare Advantage Enrollments" (2015), with Ian McCarthy. Journal of Human Resources. Fall, 50(4): 980-1008.
  • "Are Investments in Disease Prevention Complements?  The Case of Statins and Health Behaviors" (2014) with Robert Kaestner and Darius Lakdawalla.  Journal of Health Economics. July, 26: 151-163.