About Me

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

I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics in 2017. I have completed all of my coursework and am currently writing my thesis for a Master of Public Health degree at University College Cork in Cork, Republic of Ireland, where I was a George J. Mitchell Scholar. I am affiliated with the University of Florida Drug Policy Institute, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School’s Health Equity Research Lab, Penn’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and University of California San Diego’s Center for Data-Driven Population Medicine.

Research

I am interested in both behavioral public health and the economics underlying health care 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; 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 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.

My work in substance use prevention has taught me the importance of community programs that engage young people. I am the founder and past-president of Penn Leadership Training Institute, a non-profit organization that connects over 100 undergraduate volunteers with students in 13 Philadelphia public schools for weekly leadership lessons. My research has shown that leadership education can help adolescents avoid risky behaviors such as substance abuse.

Mentors

I am fortunate to have been mentored by internationally-recognized addiction and public health experts, including Dr. Tom McLellan (University of Pennsylvania), 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).