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 B.S. in Economics in 2017 and first in my class with a Master of Public Health from University College Cork as a Mitchell Scholar in 2019. In fall 2019, I will begin studying for a Ph.D. in Health Sciences at the University of York as a British Marshall Scholar, and after my Marshall studies, I will begin studying for a Ph.D. in Economics at MIT.

I am currently 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 the intersection of economics and health. Specifically, I use tools from economics (and related fields) to explore behavioral public health and health care policy for substance use disorders and addiction. I have researched the factors that lead adolescents and young adults to indulge in risky behaviors and how policy-makers can effectively and efficiently provide high-quality health care for people with substance use disorders.

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 and in news outlets such as the LA Times and CNN.

Service and Community Work

I am dedicated to the translation of research into practice. I have interned with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama and with the Office of US Senator Pat Toomey. I have 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).