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Eric A. Finkelstein, Associate Research Professor

Eric A. Finkelstein

Please note: Eric has left the "Economics" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

Eric A. Finkelstein is an Associate Research Professor in the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University. He is also Deputy Director and Associate Professor in the Health Services Research Program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. Prior to his appointment at Duke, Finkelstein was a Senior Research Economist for the Public Health Economics Program at RTI (Research Triangle Institute.) At RTI, he focused his studies on “the economic causes and consequences of health behaviors with a primary emphasis on behaviors related to obesity.” Before beginning his career at RTI, Finkelstein was a research scientist and a fellow of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine. He earned his MHA, his Ph.D., and his MA in economics from the University of Washington. Dr. Finkelstein’s expertise is in health economics, obesity, and cost-effectiveness analysis. He has been the leader of several projects for the research benefit of public and private sector agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these studies concerned the “causes and consequences of obesity,” which involved the evaluation of various obesity prevention programs. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including the American Journal of Health Behavior, the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the American Journal of Health Promotion, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. He recently published a book in 2008 in collaboration with L. Zuckerman entitled, The Fattening of America: How the economy makes us fat, if it matters, and what to do about it. Other recent publications of Dr. Finkelstein’s include, “Do Obese Persons Comprehend their Personal Health Risks?,” “Public Health Interventions for Addressing Childhood Overweight: Analysis of the Business Case,” and “A pilot study testing the effect of different levels of financial incentives on weight loss among overweight employees.” One of his papers, “National Medial Expenditures Attributable to Overweight and Obesity,” received media attention across the nation after being published in Health Affairs. He was featured on a front-page story for USA Today, and was discussed in the Economist, The Washington Post, and Time magazine. The same paper is cited regularly in relation to the subject of obesity prevention. Dr. Finkelstein serves in other professional positions outside of his teaching and research responsibilities. He currently holds the position of both co-principal investigator and associate director for the RTI-University of North Carolina Center of Excellence in Health Promotion Economics.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  Trent Hall
Email Address: send me a message


Ph.D.University of Washington1998
M.H.A.University of Washington1999
M.A.University of Washington1996

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