George Wehby


Title(s): Professor and the John W. Colloton Chair
Department: Health Management and Policy
Office: N250 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-3814

Dr. Wehby is a professor and the John W. Colloton chair in the Department of Health Management and Policy. He teaches health economics and health services research methods.  His research examines social, economic, and policy impacts on health, especially among children.  Dr. Wehby has an active externally funded research program and has received numerous NIH grants.  He has published over 140 articles in academic peer-reviewed journals.  He holds secondary appointments in the Department of Economics, the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, and the Public Policy Center. Dr. Wehby is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

PhD in Health Services and Policy focal area:

  • Health Economics

Selected Publications (out of 140+ publications):

Wehby GL, Murray JC, Castilla EE, Lopez-Camelo JS, Ohsfeldt RL. “Quantile effects of prenatal care on birth weight in Argentina.” Health Economics. 2009; 18:1307-21.

Wehby GL, Murray JC, McCarthy AM, Castilla EE. “Racial Gaps in Child Health Insurance Coverage in Four South American Countries: The Role of Wealth, Human Capital and Other Household Characteristics.” Health Services Research. 2011; 46:2119-38.

Wehby GL, Prater K, McCarthy AM, Castilla EE, Murray JC. “The impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy on early child neurodevelopment.” Journal of Human Capital. 2011; 5:207-254.

Wehby GL, McCarthy AM, Castilla EE, Murray JC. “The Impact of Household Investments on Early Child Neurodevelopment and on Racial and Socioeconomic Developmental Gaps in South America.” Forum for Health Economics & Policy. 2011; 14 (Article 11):1-58.

Wehby GL and Courtemanche C. “The Heterogeneity of Cigarette Price Effects on Body Weight”. Journal of Health Economics. 2012; 31:719-29.

Wehby GL, Ullrich F, and Xie Y. “Hospital Volume of Very Low Birth Weight Infants and In-Hospital Mortality: An Instrumental Variables Study”. Medical Care. 2012; 50:714-21

Wehby GL, Castilla EE, Lopez-Camelo Jorge. “Hospital Volume and Mortality of Very Low Birth Weight Infants in South America.” Health Services Research. 2012; 47:1502-21.

Guarnizo Herreno C and Wehby GL. “Explaining racial/ethnic disparities in children’s dental health: a decomposition analysis.” American Journal of Public Health. 2012; 102:859-66

Nyarko K, Lopez-Camelo J, Castilla EE, and Wehby GL. “Explaining Racial Disparities in Infant Health in Brazil”. American Journal of Public Health. 2013; 103:1675-84.

Wehby GL. “Child health insurance and early preventive care in three South American countries.” Health Policy and Planning. 2013; 28:328-38.

Wehby GL and McCarthy AM. “Economic Gradients in Early Child Neurological Development: A Multi-country Study”. Social Science and Medicine. 2013; 78:86-95.

von Hinke Kessler Scholder S, Wehby GL, Zuccolo L, and Lewis S. “Alcohol Exposure In Utero and Child Academic Achievement”. Economic Journal. 2014; 124: 634–667.

Wehby GL, Nyarko K, Lopez-Camelo JS. “Fetal Health Shocks and Early Inequalities in Health Capital Accumulation”. Health Economics. 2014; 23:69-92.

Woodhouse C, Lopez-Camelo J, and Wehby GL. “The Effect of Prenatal Care on Birth Weight in South America: A multi-Country Study”. PLOS One. 2014;9:e91292.

Wehby GL, Collet B, Barron S, Romitti P, Ansley T, Speltz M. “Academic Achievement of Children and Adolescents with Oral Clefts.” Pediatrics.2014; 133:785-92.

Guarnizo Herreno C and Wehby GL. “Dentist Supply and Children’s Dental Health in the United States”. American Journal of Public Health. 2014.e1-e7.

Wehby GL, Domingue BW, Boardman JD. “Prevention, Use of Health Services, and Genes: Implications of Genetics for Policy Formation”. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 2015; 34:519-36.

Courtemanche C, Pinkston J, Ruhm C, Wehby G.  “Can Changing Economic Incentives Explain the Rise in Obesity?” Southern Economic Journal. 2016; 82:1266-1310

Ayyagari P, Shane D, Wehby G. “The Impact of Medicare Part D on Emergency Department Visits”. Health Economics. 2017; 26:536-544.

Wehby GL, Gimenez L, Lopez-Camelo J. “The Impact of Unemployment Cycles on Child and Maternal Health in Argentina”. International Journal of Public Health. 2017; 62:197-207.

Wehby GL, Domingue B, Ullrich F, Wolinsky F. Genetic Predisposition to Obesity and Medicare Expenditures. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2017; 73:66-72.

Shane D and Wehby G. “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act’s Dependent Coverage Mandate on Use of Dental Treatments and Preventive Services”. Medical Care. 2017; 55:841-847.

Wehby GL and Lopez-Camelo J. “Maternal Education Gradients in Infant Health in Four South American Countries”. Maternal and Child Health. 2017; 21:2122-2131.

Obrizan M, Wehby GL. “Health Expenditures and Global Inequalities in Longevity”. World Development. 2018; 101:28-36.

Wehby GL, Domingue B, and Wolinsky F. “Genetic Risks for Chronic Conditions: Implications for Long-Term Wellbeing”. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2018; 73:477-483.

Wehby GL, Pawluk M, Nyarko KA, López-Camelo JS. “Explaining Ethnic Disparities in Preterm Birth in Argentina and Ecuador”. Global Public Health. 2018; 13:1126- 1143

Wehby GL and Lyu L. “The Impact of the ACA Medicaid Expansions on Disparities in Health Insurance Coverage by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender”. Health Services Research. 2018; 53:1248-1271.

Shane D and Wehby G. “Mental Well-being of Young Adults Following the ACA Dependent Coverage Mandate”. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. 2018; 21:171-180.

Wehby G and Shane D “Genetic Variation in Health Insurance Coverage”. International Journal of Health Economics and Management. 2019; 19(3-4):301-316.

Dave D, Kaestner R, and Wehby G. “Does public insurance coverage for pregnant women affect prenatal health behaviors?.” Journal of Population Economics. 2019; 32:419-453.

Brown E and Wehby G. “Economic Conditions and Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths”. Medical Care Research and Review. 2019; 76:462-477.

Ugi P, Lyu W, and Wehby GL. “The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Children’s Health Coverage”. Medical Care. 2019; 57:115-122.

Lyu W, and Wehby GL. “The Impacts of the ACA Medicaid Expansions on Cancer Screening Use by Primary Care Provider Supply”. Medical Care. 2019; 57:202-207.

Guarnizo Herreno C, Lyu W, and Wehby GL. “Children’s Oral Health and Academic Performance: Evidence of a Persisting Relationship over the Last Decade in the United States”. Journal of Pediatrics. 2019. pii: S0022-3476(19)30135-0.

Guarnizo Herreno C, Coutermanche C, and Wehby G. “Effects of contextual economic factors on childhood obesity”. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2019; 23:1317–1326.

Wehby GL, Lyu W, and Shane D. “The Impact of the ACA Medicaid Expansions on Dental Visits by Dental Coverage Generosity and Dentist Supply”. Medical Care. 2019; 57:781-787

Wehby GL, Dave D, and Kaestner R. “Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 2020; 39, 411-443.

Lyu W, Shane D, Wehby GL. “Effects of the Recent Medicaid Expansions on Dental Preventive Services and Treatments”. Medical Care. 2020; 58:749-755.

Lyu W, Wehby GL. “Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US”. Health Affairs. 2020; 39:1419-1425.

Lyu W, Wehby GL. “Shelter-In-Place Orders Reduced COVID-19 Mortality And Reduced The Rate Of Growth In Hospitalizations”. Health Affairs. 2020: 39;1615-1623.

Semprini J, Lyu W, Shane D, Wehby GL. “The Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansions on Health after Five Years”. Medical Care Research and Review. 2020. Forthcoming.

Lyu W  and Wehby GL. “Heterogeneous effects of ACA Medicaid Expansions among Women with Dependent Children by State-Level Pre-Expansion Eligibility”. Journal of Women’s Health. 2021. Forthcoming.

Guarnizo-Herreño C and Wehby GL. “Health of infants born to Venezuelan refugees in Colombia”. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2021. Forthcoming. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-020-01114-2.

Courses Taught

  • Health Economics
  • Health Services Research Methods

Research Interests

  • Health economics
  • Health services research
  • Children
  • Economic policies and health
  • Health and education
  • Genetics and social sciences

In the News