Zachary Wagner

Photo of Zachary Wagner
Associate Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in health economics, UC Berkeley; M.A. in international development, UC San Diego


Zachary Wagner is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is a health economist with training in both applied microeconomics and public health. His research uses economic theory and econometrics to study how people make decisions about health and health care around the globe. Wagner's global health expertise includes take-up of health technology, quality of care, conflict and health, health insurance for the poor, community health workers, HIV/AIDS, child diarrhea, private sector health care, and family planning. His domestic expertise includes the effects of health insurance on patient behavior, HIV/AIDS policy, and the opioid crisis.

Wagner's research uses a variety of methodologies including randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental evaluations, analysis of large secondary data sets, cost-effectiveness analysis, geospatial analysis, and mathematical modeling. He has ongoing projects in Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Malawi, India, and the U.S. Wagner's research has been featured in leading journals including The Lancet, BMJ, PLOS Medicine, and Health Affairs. Prior to joining RAND, Wagner was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in health policy (economics track) from UC Berkeley and a Master's degree in international development from UC San Diego.

Recent Projects

  • The Impact of Armed Conflict and Child Health in Africa
  • The Role of Price and Convenience in Underuse of ORS to Treat Child Diarrhea in Uganda

Selected Publications

Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Robert E. Black, Marshall Burke, Eran Bendavid , "Armed Conflict and Child Health in Africa," Lancet, 2018 (forthcoming)

Zachary Wagner, Erick Gong, Damien de Walque, William H. Dow, "The Impact of Positive Income Shocks on Risky Sexual Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania," Aids and Behavior, 2016

Zachary Wagner, Jeremy Barofsky, and Neeraj Sood, "PEPFAR Funding Associated With An Increase In Employment Among Males in Ten Sub-Saharan African Countries," Health Affairs, 2015

Neeraj Sood, Eran Bendavid, Arnab Mukherji, Zachary Wagner, Somil Nagpal, and Patrick Mullen, "Government health insurance for people below poverty line in India: quasi-experimental evaluation of insurance and health outcomes," BMJ, 2014

Zachary Wagner, Yanyu Wu, and Neeraj Sood, "The Affordable Care Act May Increase The Number Of People Getting Tested For HIV By Nearly 500,000 By 2017," Health Affairs, 2014

Neeraj Sood, Zachary Wagner, and Yanyu Wu, "The Impact of Insurance on HIV Testing," American Journal of Health Economics, 2015

Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Paul Wise, Robert E. Black, Marshall Burke, Ties Boerma, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Eran Bendavid , "Women and Children Living in Areas of Armed Conflict: a geospatial analysis of mortality and orphanhood in Africa," The Lancet Global Health, 2019

Zachary Wagner, John Bosco Asiimwe, William H. Dow, and David I. Levine, "The role of price and convenience in use of oral rehydration salts to treat child diarrhea: A cluster randomized trial in Uganda," PLOS Medicine, 2019