Heather Royer

Heather Royer
Associate Professor
Broom Center Affiliation(s)

Area Director, Education and Health Theme

Heather Royer's research focuses primarily on health economics. Her current research focuses on trying to disentangle the causal effect of education on health and fertility. She also has recently become interested in how information and incentives may affect health behaviors such as eating healthy and exercising regularly. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Grants, Awards and Distinctions:

National Institute of Health R21. 2019-2021. "Drinking Water Contaminants and Infant Health." (with Katherine Grooms, Kevin Schnepel) Co-PI. $400,000.

UCSB Faculty Senate Grant. 2017-2019. "Effects of Drinking Water Quality on Infant Health." $10,000.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2012-2014. “Improving the Structure of Financial Incentives for Exercise: Insights from Behavioral Economics” (with Mark Stehr and Justin Sydnor). $100,000.

National Institutes of Health. 2012-2014. “Commitment Contracts for Health-Behavior Change” (with Mark Stehr and Justin Sydnor). $447,000.

Penn Roybal Center award for Can Financial Incentives. 2015-2017.Help People Trying to Establish New Habits? $39,000. (with Justin Sydnor).

National Institute of Health. 2012-2017. R01 for “Community Care for All? Health Centers' Impact on Access to Care and Health” (with Martha Bailey (PI) and Mireille Jacobson). $1,600,000.

University of Pennsylvania/Carnegie Mellon University Roybal Center. 2015-2016. "Can the endowment effect be used to increase the power of health incentives?" (PI) $17,000.00.


Manuela Angelucci, Silvia Prina, Heather Royer, and Anya Samek. Forthcoming.
"Incentives and Unintended Consequences: Spillover Effects in Food Choice. "
AEJ: Economic Policy 11 (Also NBER Working Paper #21481).
Research Themes:
Mireille Jacobson, Maria Kogelnik, and Heather Royer. 2020.
"Holiday, Just One Day Out Of Life: Birth Timing and Post-natal Outcomes. "
Journal of Labor Economics.
Research Themes:
Heather Royer (With Manuela Angelucci, Silvia Prina, and Anya Samek). Forthcoming.
"When Incentives Backfire: Spillover Effects in Food Choice"
AEJ: Economic Policy (Also NBER Working Paper #21481).
Research Themes:
Heather Royer (With Mariana Carrera, Mark Stehr, Justin Sydnor, and Dmitry Taubinsky). 2018.
"The Limits of Simple Implementation Intentions: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Making Plans to Exercise."
Journal of Health Economics, 2018, 62: 95-104. (Also NBER Working Paper #24959).
Research Themes:
Heather Royer (With Mariana Carrera, Mark Stehr, and Justin Sydnor). 2019.
"The Structure of Health Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment"
Management Science (Also NBER Working Paper #23188).
Research Themes:
S Fischer, H Royer, C White. 2018.
"The Impacts of Reduced Access to Abortion and Family Planning Services on Abortions, Births, and Contraceptive Purchases."
Journal of Public Economics. 167: 43-68.
Research Themes:
M Carrera, H Royer, M Stehr, J Sydnor. 2018. 
"Can financial incentives help people trying to establish new habits? Experimental evidence with new gym members."
Journal of Health Economics 58, 202-214.
Research Themes:
Kelly Bedard (with Philip Babcock, Gary Charness, John Hartman, and Heather Royer). 2015. 
"Letting Down the Team? Evidence of Social Effects of Team Incentives."
The Journal of the European Economic Association. October 2015, 841-870.
Research Themes:
Royer, Heather with Mark Stehr and Justin Sydnor. 2015
"Incentives, Commitments and Habit Formation in Exercise: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Workers at a Fortune-500 Company."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 7(3): 51-84.
Research Themes:
Royer, Heather with Silvia Prina. 2014. 
"The Importance of Parental Knowledge and Social Norms: Evidence from Weight Report Cards in Mexico."
Journal of Health Economics, 37: 232-247.
Research Themes:
Royer, Heather and Allison Witman. 2014.
"Intergenerational Effects on Health - In Utero and Early Life"
for the Encyclopedia of Health Economics produced by Elsevier. 
Research Themes:
Clark, Damon and Heather Royer
"The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain"
Working Paper 16013 2012
Research Themes:
McCrary, Justin, Heather Royer
"The Effect Of Female Education On Fertility And Infant Health: Evidence From School Entry Policies Using Exact Date Of Birth"
American Economic Review, 2011, 101(1): 158-195.
Jacobson, Mireille, Heather Royer
"Aftershocks: The Impact of Clinic Violence on Abortion Services"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2011, 3(1): 189-223.