David E. Frisvold

Associate Professor of Economics, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa
Areas of Expertise:
  • Children & Families
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Inequality

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About David

Frisvold is interested in understanding whether and how public policies targeted towards children influence their health and education outcomes. His research focuses on the potential reduction in childhood obesity from soft drink taxes, Head Start participation, physical education requirements, and the School Breakfast Program. Additionally, Frisvold’s research investigates the influence of school quality on health outcomes. His research also examines the impact on education outcomes of full-day kindergarten and the School Breakfast Program. Frisvold teaches courses on health economics, public finance, and poverty policy.

In the News

David E. Frisvold's research on economic trends discussed by Jillian Berman, "One Reason You May Not See Teens Flipping Burgers or Lifeguarding This Summer," MarketWatch, June 7, 2018.
David E. Frisvold quoted on whether or not soda taxes effect consumption by Nathanael Johnson, "New Research Shows a Flaw in the Plan to Tax Soda out of Existence" Grist, August 17, 2015.
David E. Frisvold quoted on the link between breakfast and academic performance by Rick Nauert, "Good Breakfast May Hike Low-Income Kids' Grades" Pysch Central, March 18, 2015.
David E. Frisvold quoted on the benefits of a subsidized breakfast program by Tom Snee, "Better Breakfast, Better Grades" Iowa Now, March 12, 2015.
David E. Frisvold's research on the economic effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing obesity discussed by Mary Geraghty Kenyon, "Economics of Obesity," Iowa Now, October 30, 2014.
"Physical Education Requirements and Childhood Obesity," David E. Frisvold (with John Cawley and Chad D. Meyerhoefer), Vox, September 26, 2012.
David E. Frisvold's research on soft drink taxes discussed by Fred Mogul, "Unlike Soda Tax, Bloomberg Says Soda Size Ban is His Call," WNYC, May 31, 2012.
David E. Frisvold quoted on the impact of college selectivity on health, "College Costs and Selectivity May Influence Health and Behavior Choices" The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2011.
David E. Frisvold quoted on soft drink taxes, "Taxing Sodas for a Healthier Economy?" Time, July 12, 2010.
David E. Frisvold quoted on soft drink taxes, "Can a Soda Tax Really Curb Obesity?" Forbes, September 16, 2009.


"School Quality and the Education-Health Relationship: Evidence from Blacks in Segregated Schools" (with E. Golberstein). Journal of Health Economics 30, no. 6 (2011): 1232-1245.
Finds that the improvements in quality of schools attended by black students in the segregated states during the mid-1900s amplified the beneficial effects of education on self-rated health, smoking, obesity, and mortality.
"Expanding Exposure: Can Increasing the Daily Duration of Head Start Reduce Childhood Obesity?" (with Julie Lumeng). Journal of Human Resources 46, no. 2 (2011): 373-402.
Finds that attending a full-day Head Start class substantially decreases the prevalence of childhood obesity throughout the course of one year.
"The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes" (with Jason Fletcher and Nathan Tefft). Journal of Public Economics 94, no. 11 (2010): 967-974.
Finds that increases in soft drink taxes between 1989 and 2006 moderately decreased soft drink consumption among youths, but this reduction was completely offset by increases in consumption of other high-calorie drinks.