Jason Fletcher

Professor of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Areas of Expertise:
  • K-12 Education
  • Health Care
  • Public Budgets & Taxes

About Jason

Fletcher’s research investigates how public policies affect adolescent health behaviors and outcomes, such as obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol use; how social networks impact health; how teenage fertility affects education and employment outcomes; and how childhood health status affects adult health, employment, and education.




"Is Obesity Contagious? Social Networks vs. Environmental Factors in the Obesity Epidemic" (with Ethan Cohen-Cole). Journal of Health Economics 27, no. 5 (2008): 1382-1387.
Finds that environmental effects appear more important than social network effects in explaining obesity.
"The Effects of Soft Drink Taxation on Soft Drink Consumption and Weight for Children and Adolescents" (with David Frisvold and Nathan Tefft). Journal of Public Economics 94, no. 11 (2010): 967-974.
Demonstrates that soft drink taxation has no impacts on obesity.
"The Effects of Teenage Childbearing on the Short- and Long-Term Health Behaviors of Mothers" Journal of Population Economics 25, no. 1 (2012): 201-218.
Shows that early childbearing is protective against some risky health behaviors for adults.

In the News

Guest to discuss the impact of family income on learning on National Public Radio, Jason Fletcher, June 30, 2016.
Jason Fletcher quoted on a new measure of physician value in Melanie Evans, "Measure Ranks Docs on How Much Patients Improve" Modern Healthcare, October 15, 2014.
Jason Fletcher's research on social contagion in health behaviors discussed in David Merritt JohnsJason Fletcher, "Everything is Contagious," Slate, April 8, 2010.
Jason Fletcher's research on the impacts of soda taxes on obesity discussed in Barbara KiviatJason Fletcher, "Taxing Sodas for a Healthier Economy?," Time Magazine, July 12, 2010.
Jason Fletcher's research on the effects of attending a highly selective college on later health behaviors such as smoking and drinking discussed in David GlennJason Fletcher, "College Costs and Selectivity May Influence Health and Behavior Choices," The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2011.
Jason Fletcher's research on the impacts of diabetes on education and employment discussed in Anahad O’ConnorJason Fletcher, "Economic Toll of Diabetes Begins Early," New York Times, January 9, 2012.