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Christopher (Kitt) Carpenter

E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Economics
Professor of Law
Professor of Health Policy
Professor of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Women's and Gender Studies

Christopher (Kitt) Carpenter is a health economist who studies the effects of public policy interventions on health behaviors, particularly in the areas of adolescent health, substance use, and cancer screenings. He is also an expert on LGBT economic demography. His current research examines the effects of minimum legal drinking ages in the United States and other countries as well as the effects of federal funding for cancer screenings for low-income populations. His research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. Professor Carpenter is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as editor at the Journal of Health Economics and associate editor or editorial board member at American Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. In addition to his appointment at the law school, he holds courtesy appointments in Medicine, Health and Society, the Department of Health Policy, and the Peabody College of Education (Leadership, Policy, and Organizations). He also directs the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab, a Trans-Institutional Program, and he is a Cross-College Scholar for his Multicultural University Course ‘The Causes and Consequences of LGBT Policies’.

Research Interests

Health economics, law and economics

Representative Publications

  • “The Minimum Legal Drinking Age and Morbidity in the United States,” 98 Review of Economics and Statistics (forthcoming 2016) (with Carlos Dobkin)
    Full Text | PDF
  • “Do ‘Cheeseburger Bills’ Work? Effects of Tort Reform for Fast Food,” 58 Journal of Law and Economics 805 (2015) (with Sebastian Tello-Trillo)
    Full Text | WWW | PDF
  • “Health Insurance Mandates, Mammography, and Breast Cancer Diagnoses,” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (2016) (with Marianne P. Bitler)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “Effects of a Driver Cellphone Ban on Overall, Handheld and Hands-Free Cellphone Use While Driving: New Evidence from Canada,” 24 Health Economics 1452 (2015) (with V. Hai Nguyen)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “The Drinking Age and Crime,” 97 Review of Economics and Statistics 521 (2015) (with Carlos Dobkin)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “The Effect of Requiring Private Employers to Extend Health Benefit Eligibility to Same-Sex Partners of Employees: Evidence from California,” 32 Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 388 (2012) (with Thomas Buchmueller)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “The Minimum Legal Drinking Age and Public Heath,” 25 Journal of Economic Perspectives 133 (2011) (with Carlos Dobkin)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “Intended and Unintended Consequences of Youth Bicycle Helmet Laws,” 54 Journal of Law and Economics 305 (2011) (with Mark Stehr)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age,” 1 American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 164 (2009) (with Carlos Dobkin)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “Heavy Alcohol Use and Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk Driving Laws,” 50 Journal of Law and Economics 539 (2007)
    Full Text | WWW