Health Economics

Bidisha Mandal’s research and extension program examines key public health policies and issues in context of how they affect health related decision-making processes, economic outcomes, and health status. Her program has been funded by both internal and external sources.

Extension is an important service (pdf) and an appropriate use of public funds for economic development. Evidence of the need and demand for Extension Services (pdf) in a rural community in Washington State.

The three broad categories of her current extension agenda are:

  1. Health Insurance and Healthcare access
    • Projects include studying differential effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion among rural and urban populations regarding access to primary care providers and the use of preventive care due to Medicaid expansion, and impacts of the ACA’s employer mandate in the labor-intensive agriculture industry in Washington State.
  2. Economic Environment and Health Outcomes
    • Projects study the association between subjective expectations of future job loss, unemployment, and mental health outcomes. A second set of studies examine understanding associations between paid family leave, breastfeeding behavior, return to employment, and new mothers’ mental health.
  3. Nutrition behavior
    • Projects include studying impacts of food-related interventions on food choices and health outcomes.  For instance, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1994 provides consistent and standardized nutrition information through food labels.  Consumers could choose more healthful foods in order to achieve better health outcomes.


Select Articles

Media & Presentations

  • Presentation at the Washington State Association of Counties, 2011 Extension Directors Conference, Bellevue, Washington.  “Economic Tools to Evaluate Social Science Programs”.
  • Twitter feed @socscimed on March 15, 2011 on depression and job insecurity: “Increase in concern about possible job loss elevates depression among workers close to retirement more than job loss”.
  • Presentation on Obesity Research at WSU Whatcom County Extension Office, April 2008: “A multilevel approach to model weight gain”.

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