You, Wen, Ph.D.

Dr. Wen You is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr. You is conducting applied health economics and health policy design and evaluation work. Her research program goal is to address health disparity through improving the economic welfare and health of disadvantaged populations (both domestically and internationally). Her research, teaching and mentoring are positioned at the intersections of health economics, econometrics, public health science, behavioral science and policy.

Dr. You has utilized the strength of economic modeling and quantitative analytical skills to fill the theoretical and analytical gaps on non-laboratory behavioral intervention research and policy evaluations. Furthermore, she links interdisciplinary methodologies and frameworks back into traditional economic policy analytical frameworks to bring more realism and contextual relevance into economic models. Her current research program focuses on understanding the causes of health disparities through the creative integration of economics within other disciplines. It revolves around three connected themes that are crucial for improving human health and welfare: a) understanding individual’s health behaviors; b) identifying incentives for promoting healthy behaviors;  c) evaluating health policies and programs. These topics are interrelated since understanding how individuals make lifestyle choices  (theme a) and how they respond to different incentives (theme b) is vital for assessing and improving health policy effectiveness (theme c).

Dr. You has served as PI and co-I roles for several NIH and USDA funded interdisciplinary research grants and has published over 60 peer reviewed journal papers in economic and interdisciplinary journals including Health Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Nutrition, Social Science & Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Food Policy etc.

Current Appointment:
Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences
Co-Director, Population Health and Cancer Outcomes Core, UVA Cancer Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech

Mailing Address:

Health Economics, Applied Microeconometrics, Public Health Science, Policy Evaluation, Incentive Design, D&I Design and Economic Evaluation

Selected Honors and Awards:
2020 / Best Economic Paper Award / Food Safety and Nutrition Section / Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
2019 / Best Economic Paper Honorable Mention / Food Safety and Nutrition Section / Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
2017 / Scholar of the Week / Virginia Tech
2017 / Michael P. O’Donnell Paper of the Year / American Journal of Health Promotion
2014 / Excellence in Applied Research Award / College of Agricultural & Life Sciences / Virginia Tech
2006 / Outstanding Dissertation Award / Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Selected Publications:
Davis, G.C., You, W., Yang, Y. “Are SNAP Benefits Adequate? A Geographical and Food Expenditure Decomposition.” Food Policy. (senior authorship is shared between Davis and You). (in press, 2020).

You, W., Davis, G.C. “Estimating Dual Headed Time in Food Production with Implications for SNAP Benefit Adequacy.” Review of Economics of the Household (2019) 17:249-266. DOI 10.1007/s11150-018-9403-7.

Yang, Y., Davis, G.C., You, W. “Measuring Food Expenditure Poverty in SNAP Populations: Some Extensions with An Application to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (2019) 41:133-152. doi: 10.1093/aepp/ppy004.

Zoellner, J.M., You, W., Hill, J.L, Brock, D.P., Yuhas, M., Alexander, R.C., Price, B., Estabrooks, P.A. “A Comparative Effectiveness Trial of Two Family-based Childhood Obesity Treatment Programs in A Medically Underserved Region: Rationale, Design & Methods.” Contemporary Clinical Trials (2019) 84:105801. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2019.06.015.

Zoellner, J., You, W., Estabrooks, P., Chen, Y., Davy, B., Porter, K., Hedrick, V., Bailey, A., Kruzliakova, N. “Supporting Maintenance of Sugar-sweetened Beverage Reduction Using Automated versus Live Telephone Support: Findings from A Randomized Control Trial.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2018) 15:97.

Michaud, T., You, W., Wilson, K., Su, D., McGuire, T.J., Almeida, F.A., Bayer, A.L., Estabrooks, P.A. “Cost Effectiveness and Return on Investment of a Scalable Community Weight Loss Intervention.” Preventive Medicine (2017) 105:295-303. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.10.011.

Yenerall, J., You, W., Hill, J. “Investigating the Spatial Dimension of Food Access.” Int J Environ Res Public Health. (Aug, 2017) 14(8). pii: E866. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080866.

Sun, Y., You, W., Almeida, F., Estabrooks, P., Davy, B. “The Effectiveness and Cost of Lifestyle Intervention including Nutrition Education for Diabetes Prevention: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2017) 117(3):404-421. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.11.016.

Estabrooks, P., You, W., Hedrick, V.E., Reinhold, M., Krzeski, E., Zoellner, J. “A Pragmatic Examination of Active and Passive Recruitment Methods in Improving Reach in Community Lifestyle Programs: The Talking Health Trial” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2017) 14:7. doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0462-6.

Capogrossi*, K., and You, W. “Do School Nutrition Programs Influence Child Weight? A Treatment Effect Analysis” Health Economics (2017). 26:980-1000. DOI: 10.1002/hec.3378.

Zoellner, J., You, W., Almeida, F., Allen, KCA., Harden, S., Glasgow, R.E.,  Linnan, L., Hill, J., Estabrooks, P. “The Influence of Health Literacy on Reach, Retention, and Success in A Worksite Weight Loss Program”. American Journal of Health Promotion (Mar 2016) 30(4): 279-282. DOI: 10.1177/0890117116639558.

Zeng, D., You, W., Mills, B., Alwang, J., Royster, M., Anson-Dwamena, R. “A Closer Look at the Rural-Urban Health Disparities: Insights from Four Major Diseases in the Commonwealth of Virginia” Social Science & Medicine 140(2015): 62-68. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.07.011.

Almeida, F., You, W., Harden, S., Blackman, K., Davy, B., Hill, J., Linnan, L., Wall, S., Yenerall, J., Zoellner, J., Estabrooks, P. “Effectiveness of a Worksite-based Weight Loss Randomized Controlled Trial: The WORKSITE Study.” Obesity (Feb, 2015). doi: 10.1002/oby.20899.

Davis, G., and You, W. (senior authorship shared) “Estimates of Returns to Scale, Elasticity of Substitution, and the Thrifty Food Plan Meal Poverty Rate from A Direct Household Meal Production Function” Food Policy 43(2013):204-212.

You, W., Mitchell, P., Nayga, R. “Improving Food Choices Among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipients.” Health Economics. 21(2012): 852-864. doi: 10.1002/hec.1758.

You, W., Almeida, F., Zoellner, J., Hill, J., Pinard*, C., Allen*, K., Glasgow, R., Linnan, L., Estabrooks, P. “Who Participates in Internet-Based Worksite Weight Loss Programs?” BMC Public Health 11(2011):709. Open access at:

You, W., Davis, G. “Childhood overweight: Does quality of parental childcare time matter?” Journal of Family and Economic Issues 32(2011): 219-232.

Davis, G., You, W. “Not Enough Money or Not Enough Time to Satisfy the Thrifty Food Plan? A Cost Difference Approach for Estimating A Money–Time Threshold.”  Food Policy 36(2011): 101-107.

You, W., Davis, G. “Household Food Expenditures, Parental Time Allocation, and Childhood Overweight: An Integrated Two-Stage Collective Model with an Empirical Application and Test.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 92(2010):859-872.

Dr. Wen You’s CV