I am an economist at Southern Utah University, where I teach economics and do research. My research interests include health economics, economics of education, and labor economics.  I am very interested in the roles that technological innovations and policy play in these areas.

My current research explores the economics of mental health using big data from online health provider platforms, where I estimate the impacts of physician quality on patient outcomes. Other projects I have in the pipeline explore the perceptual models that individuals use when making decisions–I arrive at direct estimates for the parameters that define these individual-level conditional expectation functions using rich expectations data from prediction tournaments I run (using software I have developed).

I am also a founding member and co-director of the Health & Education Action Lab (HEAL, est. 2019), housed at Southern Utah University.

The purpose of HEAL is to provide students with opportunities for experiential learning by getting involved in contributing to research on the frontier of knowledge. Faculty and students come together weekly for a brief training on basic research skills (e.g. research design, statistical programming, writing, etc.). The meetings are informal, structured after the weekly stand-up meetings that have become commonplace at firms in the private sector that follow the OKR/SCRUM or similar approaches to project management.  Starting Spring 2020, we will be offering Econ 4900, which will focus on applied research in the context of HEAL.

The HEAL lab has partnered with a large online therapy platform and a group of health care providers to explore questions related to mental health, education and innovative technological solutions to problems society faces in these areas. We also often meet on Wednesday evenings to crowd-storm on projects together for a longer period of time (2-3 hour sessions).

I’ve been fortunate to have some of my previous joint work with colleagues featured by various media outlets, including CNN,  National Public Radio (All Things Considered), The Washington Post, The Times (London), and the The San Diego Union Tribune, among others.

My wife, Micquel, and I are the proud parents of three children: Hal (7 years), Lulu (5 years), and Maeby (2 years).  We enjoy time together building things with Lego bricks and learning to juggle a soccer ball.  Feel free to email me: jeffreyswigert@suu.edu.