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Jeffrey Clemens

Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego
Chapter Member: San Diego SSN, California SSN
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About Jeffrey

Clemens studies a range of issues in U.S. social insurance policy. His research covers topics including stimulus spending and the redistributive role of health insurance regulations. Recent projects consider a range of channels, both historical and current, through which the federal Medicare program shapes the U.S. health sector. Clemens teaches courses on Redistribution and Social Insurance, The Economics of Health Care Producers, and Comparative Health Systems at the University of California, San Diego.

In the News

Quoted by Anna Almendrala in "Almost a Third of Young People Have Lost Their Jobs So Far," VICE, April 6, 2020.
Quoted by Dylan Matthews in "The Economic Debate Over the Minimum Wage, Explained," Vox Media, November 20, 2019.
Quoted by Dylan Matthews in "The Economic Debate over the Minimum Wage, Explained," Vox, November 20, 2019.
Quoted by Carmen Heredia Rodriguez in "Special Garments Ease an Agonizing Ailment. But Insurance May Not Pay," The Washington Post, October 21, 2019.
Research discussed by Max Ehrenfreund, in "A ‘Very Credible’ New Study on Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Has Bad News for Liberals," The Washington Post, July 5, 2017.
Research discussed by Natalie Kitroeff, in "Workers Celebrate L.A.'s New $12 Minimum Wage, Businesses Brace for Impact," Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2017.
Quoted by Bill McMorris in "Minimum Wage Maximum Unemployment," Washington Free Beacon, December 10, 2014.
Quoted by Diana Furchtgott-Roth in "Union Interests Work against Low-Wage Workers," Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, December 9, 2014.
Research discussed by Anna Stansbury, in "Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs? Data Analysis," Journalist's Resource, June 4, 2014.
Research discussed by Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating, in "Medicare Pricing Drives High Health-Care Costs," Washington Post, December 31, 2013.
Research discussed by Melanie Evans, in "Market for Medical Equipment, Health Spending Likely to Change as ACA Expands, Economist Says," Modern Healthcare, December 26, 2013.
Interviewed in "James Capretta Says Obamacare is 'Massive Income Redistribution'," Tampa Bay Times, December 1, 2013.
Research discussed by Tyler Cowen, in "How Medicare Influences Private Payment Systems (Model This)," Marginal Revolution, October 17, 2013.


"Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Treatment Patterns and Patient Health?" (with Joshua Gottlieb). American Economic Review 104, no. 4 (2014): 1320-1349.
Finds that physicians significantly increase their provision of services to Medicare beneficiaries in response to increases in reimbursement rates. The provision of relatively elective services appears, in particular, to be highly sensitive to financial incentives.
"The Effect of U.S. Health Insurance Expansions on Medical Innovation," National Bureau of Economic Research, November 30, 2013.
Finds that U.S. based medical equipment patenting expanded dramatically following the 1965 introduction of Medicare and Medicaid. The evidence points to physicians themselves, in particular when treating large numbers of generously insured patients, as a primary source of medical device and equipment innovation.
"Bargaining in the Shadow of a Giant: Medicare's Influence on Private Payment Systems," (with Joshua Gottlieb), National Bureau of Economic Research, September 30, 2013.
Shows that Medicare’s fee schedule significantly shapes the fee schedules adopted by private insurers. Many insurers and physicians coordinate around Medicare’s payment methodology, likely to avoid the administrative cost of erecting independent payment models.
"The Rise of the States: U.S. Fiscal Decentralization in the Postwar Period" (with Katherine Baicker and Monica Singhal). Journal of Public Economics 96, no. 11 (2012): 1079-1091.
Examines the evolution of the roles of the federal, state, and local levels of government in the United States since the mid-20th century. Highlights the expanding role of state governments over this time period, which is associated in large part with their responsibility for managing social insurance programs.
"Fiscal Policy Multipliers on Subnational Government Spending" (with Stephen Miran). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 4, no. 2 (2012): 46-68.
Estimates the effect of state government spending on economic activity, finding evidence that debt-financed increases in government spending are modestly stimulative.