Austin is the creator, co-manager, and a primary author of The Incidental Economist. He is a health economist with an educational background in physics and engineering. After receiving his PhD in statistical and applied mathematics he spent four years at a research and consulting firm conducting policy evaluations for federal health agencies. Austin now has appointments with Health Care Financing & Economics (HCFE) at the Boston VA Healthcare System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University’s School of Medicine; and the Department of Health Policy and Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania. Since 1999, he has studied economic issues pertaining U.S. health care policy. Lately, he has devoted more attention to comparative effectiveness studies based on observational data.
Austin has authored numerous peer-reviewed, scholarly publications, many relevant to health care financing, economics, and policy. His peer-reviewed papers have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Milbank Quarterly, Health Care Financing Review, Health Affairs, Health Economics, Health Services Research, International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, among other journals (citations here). He has contributed many columns to Bloomberg View and Kaiser Health News, commentary for the New York Times’ Room for Debate forum, posts for the JAMA Forum and the AcademyHealth blog, and has appeared on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. He will be a regular contributor to The New York Times’ The Upshot.