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Zack Cooper, PhD

Associate Professor of Public Health (Health Policy), Associate Professor of Economics, and Associate Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies



Zack Cooper is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University. He also serves as Director of Health Policy at Yale's Tobin Center for Economic Policy. Professor Cooper is a health economist whose work is focused on producing data-driven scholarship that can inform public policy. In his academic work, he has analyzed the impact of competition in hospital and insurance markets, studied the influence of price transparency on consumer behavior, investigated the causes of surprise out-of-network bills, and examined the influence of electoral politics on health care spending growth. Cooper has published his research in leading economics and medical journals including the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has also presented his research at the White House, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In January 2021, Zack Cooper and Fiona Scott Morton launched the 1% Steps for Health Care Reform project. The aim of the project is harness the power of rigorous economic scholarship to identify tangible steps that can be taken to reduce health care spending in the US without harming quality. The project includes 16 briefs written by leading economists that describe 16 specific interventions, which would collectively lower health care costs in the US by approximately $400 billion annually. You can hear a description of the project on the Freakenomics Podcast (Part 1and Part 2).

Cooper received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the London School of Economics, where he received the Richard Titmuss prize for Best PhD thesis. He was an Economic and Social Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in economics at the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance where he remains a Faculty Associate. Cooper is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a 2019 winner of and Andrew Carnegie Fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

His research on health care spending on the privately insured can be found at:

Education & Training

  • PhD
    London School of Economics (2011)
  • MSc
    London School of Economics (2006)
  • AB
    University of Chicago (2005)

Departments & Organizations