Sebastian Linnemayr

Photo of Sebastian Linnemayr
Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, Université de la Mediterranée; M.Phil. in economics, Oxford University; M.A. in international relations, Johns Hopkins University; M.A. in business administration, University of Vienna


Sebastian Linnemayr is a Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His current research focuses on the use of economic incentives and the application of insights from behavioral economics to improve complex, chronic health behaviors. He travels frequently to Uganda where he is implementing several interventions funded by the National Institutes of Health to increase medication adherence among people living with HIV. Linnemayr joined RAND after completing his position as postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Mobile Technology and Incentives (MOTIVES) for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Los Angeles
  • Improving Drug Adherence Among Adolescents in Uganda using SMS Reminders
  • SMS as an Incentive To Adhere (SITA)
  • Variable Rewards for Improving ARV Adherence

Selected Publications

Sebastian Linnemayr, Tom Rice, "Insights from Behavioral Economics to Design More Effective Incentives for Improving Chronic Health Behaviors, with an Application to Adherence to Antiretrovirals," JAIDS, 72(2):e50-2, 2016

Linnemayr, Sebastian,Van Abel K, Uscher Pines L, O'Hanlon C, Nelson C, "Using Insights from Behavioral Economics to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness and Response," Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 18:1-7, 2016

Sebastian Linnemayr, Chad Stecher, "Behavioral Economics Matters for HIV Research: The Impact of Behavioral Biases on Adherence to Antiretrovirals (ARVs)," AIDS and Behavior, 19(11):2069-75, 2015

Linnemayr, Sebastian, "HIV Prevention through the Lens of Behavioral Economics," JAIDS, 68(4):e61-63, 2015

David Bloom, David Canning, Isabel Guenther, Sebastian Linnemayr, "Fertility Choice, Mortality Expectations, and Interdependent Preferences: An Empirical Analysis," European Economic Review, 63:273-289, 2013

Sebastian Linnemayr, Datar, Ashlesha, Jenny Liu, Chad Stecher, "The Impact of Natural Disasters on Child Health and Investments in Rural India," Social Science and Medicine, 76:83-9, 2013

Sebastian Linnemayr, Harold Alderman, "Almost Random: Evaluating a Large-Scale Randomized Nutrition Program in the Presence of Crossover," Journal of Development Economics, 96:106-114, 2011

Linnemayr, Sebastian, "Consumption Smoothing and HIV/AIDS: The Case of Two Communities in South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2010

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Silver Medal Award, RAND


  • Women walk near a poster displaying a government message against Ebola, at a maternity hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 14, 2014

    The Economic Rationale for Investing in Family Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Proven benefits to reduced fertility — or to delayed start to childbearing and greater spacing between births — include lower maternal mortality, fewer unsafe abortions, reduced risks from early childbearing, and women's ability to engage in more income-generating opportunities.

    Aug 3, 2016 The World Bank Investing in Health Blog