Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Economics

Emily Oster is a professor of economics. Prior to coming to Brown she was an associate professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.  She earned her BA and her PhD from Harvard, in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

Emily Oster’s research focuses on health and development economics. Her past work has covered issues of HIV and gender equality in health and survival.  Her current work focuses on how individuals seek out, and react to, health information.  She has several recent papers on Huntington Disease, a degenerative neurological disorder. In this context she explores health information-seeking and asks why individuals in the at-risk population seem resistant to informative genetic information about this disease.  She uses a similar population to test whether knowledge of limited life expectancy affects incentives to invest in education and job training.

Oster’s current work covers infant mortality – exploring why the US has very high infant mortality rates relative to other developed countries – and diet behavior among diabetics.