Christopher R. Gustafson, PhD NPOD Investigator


Associate Professor - Seed Grant Project Leader 2021

Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
314A Filley Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68583-0922

Phone: 402.318.5712  |  Email:

External Website:

My primary research focus lies at the intersection of decision-making processes and health outcomes. People have been found to deviate regularly from standard models of rationality in certain settings. This deviation from rational decision-making happens especially frequently in the sorts of choice scenarios—decisions made infrequently, when there are high stakes, or when benefits and costs of decisions occur at different points in time—that people face when making decisions affecting their health. For instance, many people experience eating unhealthy food as an immediate benefit, while the potential costs—poorer health, obesity, etc.—will occur later. Behavioral economics provides a framework—rooted in economics and psychology—to understand these choices. It also offers principles to guide policymakers, health-care professionals, or individuals themselves to choice structures that can engender healthier decisions. I intend to apply these concepts to the study of both health and disparities in health outcomes among populations. I am also interested in studying another important component to disparities in health: differences in access to resources needed to achieve healthy outcomes, and societal forces that may contribute to these disparities.