Jonathan H. Cantor

Jonathan H. Cantor
Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in public administration, New York University; M.S. in policy analysis, Cornell University; B.S. in policy analysis, Cornell University


Jonathan Cantor is a policy researcher at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His key research interests are in health policies related to obesity, substance use disorder, mental health, pharmaceutical use, and other health behaviors. He uses theoretical frameworks and research methods from health economics, policy analysis, and public health. He is currently leading a team of researchers in developing and using the Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Tracking Repository. It is the first national longitudinal database of licensed substance abuse treatment facilities between the year 1975 and the present and for mental health treatment facilities for the years 2008, 2012, and 2015-present. The substance use disorder data are currently being used to examine the availability of substance use disorder treatment for older adults via a National Institute of Aging grant. Both the mental health and substance use disorder database have been used to examine the availability of specialty behavioral health treatment surrounding army bases and separately for veterans. Cantor has also examined changes in health care utilization, access to care, and health outcomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has published articles in journals including JAMA Network Open, JAMA Health Forum, JAMA Psychiatry, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Economics, New England Journal of Medicine, and American Journal of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Recent Projects

  • Substance Use and Access to Care among Older Adults
  • The Impact of Access to Substance Abuse Treatment on Disability
  • Access to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Among the Military and Their Families
  • Urban Revitalization and Long-Term Effects on Diet, Economic, and Health Outcomes
  • Medicare Ambulance Services Special Analysis


  • Food Insecurity

    Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic, shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship. Tremendous efforts are already underway to help. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors.

    Mar 31, 2020

    The RAND Blog