Jonathan Gruber

Ford Professor of Economics and Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
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About Jonathan

Gruber has taught economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1992, and his research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine. During the 2008 election he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama Presidential campaigns. During 2009-2010 he served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the Administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


The Truth about Health Reform, Jobs, and the Economy

In the News

"How to Make America Grow Again," Jonathan Gruber (with Simon Johnson), Bloomberg, April 25, 2019.
Jonathan Gruber quoted by Kelan Lyons, "Consultant Who Helped Craft Affordable Care Act Says Cost Control Key to Fixing Insurance Network" Bryan-College Station Eagle, March 21, 2018.
Jonathan Gruber quoted by David Catron, "Hatch Was Right about Obamacare's Supporters" The American Spectator, March 5, 2018.
Jonathan Gruber quoted by Anders Melin and Max Abelson, "Who Could Lead a New Health-Care Company for Three Billionaires?" Bloomberg, January 30, 2018.
Jonathan Gruber quoted by Sarah Kliff, "Maryland's Plan to Save Obamacare from Individual Mandate Repeal" Vox, January 10, 2018.
"Repealing the Affordable Care Act – Fact vs. Fiction," Jonathan Gruber (with Benjamin D. Sommers), Boston Globe, December 8, 2016.
Jonathan Gruber quoted on his continued support for ObamaCare by Stephanie Armour, "Economist Jonathan Gruber Backs U.S. on Health-Law Subsidies" Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2015.
"In-Hospital Care Saves Money - and Lives," Jonathan Gruber (with Joseph Doyle and John Graves ), Boston Globe, March 31, 2015.
Jonathan Gruber's research on Obamacare discussed by Neil Irwin, "The Jonathan Gruber Controversy and Washington’s Dirty Little Secret," New York Times, November 12, 2014.
Interview on cost-benefit analysis of smoking Jonathan Gruber, MIT News Office, October 13, 2014.
Guest to discuss ObamaCare's progress on National Public Radio, Jonathan Gruber, October 1, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber's research on narrow network plans discussed by Sarah Kliff, "Limited Doctor Choice Plans Don't Mean Worse Care," Vox, September 8, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber quoted on predictions about Affordable Care that have not come to fruition by Michael Tomasky, "The Five Biggest Lies about ObamaCare" The Daily Beast, August 17, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber's research on the functionality of the Affordable Care Act's tax subsidies discussed by Dylan Scott, "ObamaCare Architect was Usually Consistent on Subsidies, Despite 2012 Tapes," Talking Points Memo, July 28, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber quoted on how state exchanges would work without federal health reform laws in place by Sahil Kapur, "McConnell's Bizarre New Position on ObamaCare" Talking Points Memo, May 27, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber quoted on the success of the Affordable Care Act by Jonathan Cohn, "Gallup Says Uninsured Rate is Lowest We've Ever Recorded" New Republic, May 5, 2014.
Jonathan Gruber quoted on the effects of GOP-led states turning down Medicaid expansion by Paul Krugman, "Health Care Nightmares" New York Times, April 10, 2014.
"ObamaCare Enrollment is Far from Over," Jonathan Gruber (with John Graves), Talking Points Memo, April 1, 2014.
"ObamaCare: It's a Net Gain for the Economy," Jonathan Gruber, Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2014.
"Will the Affordable Care Act Kill Jobs?," Jonathan Gruber, The New Republic, July 9, 2012.
"Massachusetts Must Remain a Model on Health Care," Jonathan Gruber, Boston Globe, June 29, 2012.
"Why the Individual Mandate is Effective and Efficient," Jonathan Gruber, The Daily Beast, March 26, 2012.
"‘Cadillac’ Tax Isn’t a Tax – It’s a Plan to Finance Real Health Reform," Jonathan Gruber, Washington Post, December 28, 2009.
"Reform Requires Consumer Pressure," Jonathan Gruber, Boston Globe, September 3, 2009.
"A Loophole Worth Closing," Jonathan Gruber, New York Times, July 11, 2009.
"Medicine for the Job Market," Jonathan Gruber, New York Times, December 4, 2008.


"The Impact of Patient Cost-Sharing on the Poor: Evidence from Massachusetts," (with Amitabh Chandra and Robin McKnight), National Bureau of Economic Research, March 31, 2012.
Studies the effects of greater patient cost-sharing on low-income enrollees in Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Care program and finds no (detectable) evidence of offsetting increases in hospitalizations or emergency department visits in response to the higher copayments, either overall or for the chronically ill in particular.
"How Did Health Care Reform in Massachusetts Impact Insurance Premiums?" (with John A. Graves). American Economic Review 102, no. 3 (2012): 508-513.
Analyzes changes in private insurance premiums in Massachusetts between 2002 and 2010. In contrast to earlier estimates from Massachusetts (Cogan, Hubbard and Kessler 2010), this study found no statistical evidence of changes in group premiums; by contrast, it found large reductions in non-group premiums in Massachusetts relative to the rest of the U.S.
"Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works " (with Nathan Schreiber and illustrator) (Hill and Wang, 2011).
Explains the ins and outs of President Obama’s signature health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, in an engaging and innovative medium: the graphic novel.
"Buying Health Care, the Individual Mandate, and the Constitution" (with Sara Rosenbaum). The New England Journal of Medicine 363 (2010): 401-403.
Dispels persistent rumors about the nature and legality of the Affordable Care Act while making the case that the law is about altering individual economic conduct in the service of ensuring access to affordable health care coverage for the maximum number of citizens.
"Public Finance and Public Policy, 3rd Edition " (Worth Publishers, 2009).
Explores the way public finance issues are evaluated, implemented, and researched in the real world today by providing a survey of essential, traditional topics in the field with an emphasis on empirical work and coverage of transfer programs and social insurance.