Sebastian Linnemayr

Sebastian Linnemayr
Senior Economist; Professor of Policy Analysis, 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 RAND and professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses on the use of behavioral economic incentives to improve complex, chronic health behaviors. A recent strand of his research investigates how insights from behavioral economics can be combined with approaches from the psychology literature to more effectively support habit formation, with the goal of long-term behavior change. Linnemayr 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. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Université de la Mediterranée and joined RAND after a research fellow position at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Goals for Adherence with Low-cost Incentives (GOALS)
  • Incentives and ReMINDers to Improve Long-term Medication Adherence (INMIND)
  • Behavioral Economics to improve Antihypertensive Therapy Adherence (BETA)
  • Behavioral Economics Incentives to Support HIV Treatment Adherence in Sub- Saharan Africa (BEST)
  • Mobile Technology and Incentives (MOTIVES) for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Los Angeles

Selected Publications

Stecher C, Mukasa B, Linnemayr S*, "Uncovering a Behavioral Strategy for Establishing New Habits: Evidence from Incentives for Medication Adherence in Uganda," Journal of Health Economics; 16(77).

Linnemayr S, Huang H, Luoto J, Kambugu A, Thirumurthy H, Haberer J, Wagner G, Mukasa B., "Reminding Adolescents to Adhere: One-Year Results from a Randomized Trial of Text Messaging for Improving ART Adherence," American Journal of Public Health, 107(12), 2017

Linnemayr S, Stecher C, Mukasa B., "Behavioral economic incentives to improve adherence to antiretroviral medication," AIDS, 31(5), 2017

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), 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), 2015

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

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

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

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Silver Medal Award, RAND
  • Harold and Coleen Brown Faculty Chair, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Recipient of RAND-Initiated Research Award, RAND