About Me

My name is Theodore Caputi, and I am a research assistant for Professor Amanda Pallais at Harvard University’s Department of Economics and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics in 2017 and first in my class with a Master of Public Health from University College Cork as a Mitchell Scholar in 2018. I was recently awarded a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the UK. I am affiliated with University of Florida’s Drug Policy Institute; Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School’s Health Equity Research Lab; University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics; and University of California, San Diego’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health.


I am interested in both behavioral public health and the economic analysis of health policy for substance use disorders and addiction. I research the factors that lead adolescents and young adults to indulge in risky behaviors and how we can effectively and efficiently provide high-quality health care for people with substance use disorders. I hope to further develop the intersection of behavioral public health policy and rigorous economics research.

Most of my published papers are available free-of-charge on this site. My work has been featured in journals such as Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); JAMA Internal Medicine; Health Affairs; Addiction; American Journal of Preventive Medicine; American Journal of Public Health; and Tobacco Control.

Service and Community Work

I am dedicated to the translation of research into practice. I’ve interned with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama and US Senator Pat Toomey, and I’ve served on the Drug Free America Foundation National Advisory Board, the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission Board of Directors, the Treatment Research Institute Institutional Review Board, and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Prevention Alliance Board of Directors.


I am fortunate to have been mentored by internationally-recognized addiction and public health experts, including Dr. Tom McLellan (University of Pennsylvania & Treatment Research Institute), Dr. Keith Humphreys (Stanford University), Dr. John W. Ayers (University of California, San Diego), Dr. Mark Dredze (Johns Hopkins University), and Dr. Kevin Sabet (University of Florida).