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Sunita M. Desai, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health


Sunita Desai is a health economist. Her research investigates how policies and incentives shape healthcare provider behavior and organizational structure. She also examines the role of information and price transparency in consumer decision-making in health care. Sunita’s work has been published in leading journals including JAMA and Health Affairs and has also been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post. She was awarded a 2017-2018 Becker Friedman Institute Health Economics Fellowship from the University of Chicago.

Sunita is an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone, and holds secondary appointments in the Department of Economics at NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the Department of Health Policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.


From 2015 to 2017, Sunita was a Marshall J. Seidman Fellow in Health Policy and Economics at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. She received her PhD in health care management and economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and her BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

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PhD from University of Pennsylvania

Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy

Desai, Sunita; McWilliams, J Michael

New England journal of medicine. 2018 Feb 08; 378(6):539-548

Desai, Sunita; Hatfield, Laura A; Hicks, Andrew L; Chernew, Michael E; Mehrotra, Ateev

JAMA. 2016 May 03; 315(17):1874-81

Smith, Kyle; Padmanabhan, Prianca; Chen, Alan; Glied, Sherry; Desai, Sunita

Health services research. 2023 Jul 20;

Desai, Sunita M; Padmanabhan, Prianca; Chen, Alan Z; Lewis, Ashley; Glied, Sherry A

Journal of health economics. 2023 Jul; 90:102770

Desai, Sunita M; Chen, Alan Z; Wang, Jiejie; Chung, Wei-Yi; Stadelman, Jay; Mahoney, Chris; Szerencsy, Adam; Anzisi, Lisa; Mehrotra, Ateev; Horwitz, Leora I

JAMA internal medicine. 2022 Nov 01; 182(11):1129-1137

Dragan, Kacie L; Desai, Sunita M; Billings, John; Glied, Sherry A

JAMA health forum. 2022 09 02; 3(9):e222919