Professor Eric Finkelstein

Eric Finkelstein is a Professor of the Programme in Health Services & Systems Research and the Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. He also holds appointments at NUS School of Public Health and Duke University Global Health Institute.

His research focuses on the economic causes and consequences of health behaviours, with a primary emphasis on the use of traditional and behavioural economic incentives to influence those behaviours in ways to improve health outcomes.Recent research also focuses on studies to better understand the complicated decisions that revolve around end of life care.

He has published over 200 manuscripts and 2 books in these areas, and also successfully commercialised an Obesity Cost Calculator for employers and insurers. Based on google scholar, he has an h-index of 62 and his publications have been cited over 50,000 times, including in the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the U.S. Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

He was included in the list of the World's Most Highly Cited Researchers three years in a row by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics.

Research Interests

His main areas of health economics research include:

  1. Health Technology Assessments and Cost-effectiveness Analyses
  2. Behavioural Trials of Public Health Interventions, including economic incentives
  3. Preference Assessments using state-of-the-art techniques

The health technology assessment research applies economic evaluation frameworks to both clinical and public health interventions. Recent examples include burden of illness studies for migraine and asthma in Singapore, cost-effectiveness evaluations of weight loss medications, new treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and a community hypertension trial in Nepal.

The behavioural trials aim to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to improve public health. Through a series of trials, Prof Finkelstein’s team tested different types of incentives to improve physical activity and weight loss, and most recently developed an on-line grocery to test a series of pricing and information strategies aimed to improve diet quality.

Their preference work uses discrete choice experiments and other methods to understand the value of new technologies and the extent consumers are willing to trade off various features, both positive and negative, of an intervention.

Studies focus on trade-offs between efficacy, safety, and costs but a special emphasis focuses on preferences for end of life care and the extent to which people are willing to trade off quality for quantity of life.

Research Team

As Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care, Dr. Finkelstein leads a team of roughly 40 individuals, including 5 faculty, who focus on research and education related to the complicated decisions around end of life care.

Asst Prof Irene Teo
[email protected]

Asst Prof Semra Ozdemir
[email protected]

Selected publications

1.            Doble, B., Ang, F.J.L., Finkelstein, E.A., (2020). The Effect of Implicit and Explicit Taxes on the Purchasing of ‘High-In-Calorie’ Products: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Economics and Human Biology, Volume 37, May 2020, 100860.

2.            Doble, B., Finkelstein, E.A., Tian, Y., Saxena, N., Patil, S., Wong, T.Y., Cheung, C.M.G., (2020). Cost-Effectiveness of Intravitreal Ranibizumab with Verteporfin Photodynamic Therapy compared to Ranibizumab Monotherapy for Patients with Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy: An EVEREST II Post-Hoc Study. JAMA Ophthalmology, 2020 Jan 9.

3.            Jafar, T.H., Gandhi, H., de Silva, H.A., Jehan, I., Naheed, A., Finkelstein, E.A., Turner, E.L., Morisky, A., Kasturiratne, A., Khan, A.H., Clemens, J.D., Ebrahim, S., Assam, P.N., Feng, L., COBRA-BPS Study Group, (2020). A Community-based Intervention for Managing Hypertension in Rural South Asia. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020 Feb 20; 382:717-726.

4.            Zhen, C., Finkelstein, E.A., Karns, S.A., Leibtag, E., Zhang, C., (2019). Scanner Data-Based Panel Price Indexes. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2019 Jan; 101(1):311-329.

5.            Krishnan, A., Finkelstein, E.A., Kallestrup, P., Karki, A., Olsen, M., Neupane, D., (2019). Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of a Community Health Worker led Lifestyle Intervention for Blood Pressure Reduction. The Lancet Global Health, 2019 Oct.


Programme in Health Services & Systems Research
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