Assistant Professor of Global Health
Bio and Current Research
Dr. Jessica Lee Cohen is Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Faculty Affiliate at the Harvard Center for International Development and Malaria Technical Adviser with the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She is also the co-founder of TAMTAM Africa, Inc. (Together Against Malaria), an NGO operating in East Africa since 2003 working on malaria prevention among pregnant women. Her current research applies the methods of program design, randomized trials, and impact evaluation to maternal and child health programs and policies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Cohen is co-editor (with William Easterly) of the book “What Works in Development?: Thinking Big and Thinking Small.” She also has forthcoming research on sustainable financing for public health programs and financing vehicles to reduce aid volatility.
She is currently working on a number of field trials in Africa related to appropriate treatment for malaria, technology adoption, messaging and behavior change and pharmaceutical supply chains.
- Whether subsidies for over-the-counter malaria tests in African pharmacies can be used to encourage adoption of the tests and reduce over-treatment with malaria medicine (Kenya); Working Paper; Policy Brief; Project Details
- The impact of specialized packaging and targeted messaging of antimalarials on treatment compliance (Uganda); Project Details; Published Results from Pilot
- The role of beliefs about malaria prevalence and of targeted messaging/behavior change campaigns on consumer demand for malaria testing and supplier pricing of malaria tests (Uganda); Project Details
- Incentives to pharmaceutical wholesalers to achieve high coverage in remote areas of Tanzania.
Dr. Cohen’s work has been referenced in major national and international publications, including the The Economist, the Boston Globe, New York Times and Nature. She has advised the government of Zanzibar on its malaria control program and the Canadian International Development Agency on its child survival programs.
Dr. Cohen received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Wesleyan University and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at MIT, where she received her doctorate in economics.
BA Wesleyan University, 2000
PhD (Economics) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007
Yadav P, Cohen J, Alphs S, Arkedis J, Larson P, Massaga J, Sabot O. 2012. “Trends in Availability and Prices of Subsidized ACT Over the First Year of the AMFm: Evidence from Remote Regions of Tanzania”, Malaria Journal 11: 299. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-299 [Link to Full Text]
Cohen J, Yavuz E, Morris A, Arkedis J and O Sabot. 2012. “Do Patients Adhere to Over-the-Counter Artemisinin Combination Therapy for Malaria? Evidence from an Intervention Study in Uganda”, Malaria Journal 11:83 doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-83. [PDF; Link to Full Text]
Cohen J and Dickens W.“Adoption of Over-the-Counter Diagnostics in Africa: The Role of Subsidies, Beliefs, Externalities and Competition” Forthcoming in The Value of Information: Methodological Frontiers and New Applications in Environment and Health, Laxminarayan R and Macauley MK eds, Springer Press, 2012.
O Sabot, J M Cohen, M Hsiang, J Kahn, S Basu, L Tang, B Zheng, Q Gao, L Zou, A Tatarsky, S Aboobakar, J Usas, S Barrett, J L Cohen, D Jamison, R Feachem. “The Costs and Financial Feasibility of Malaria Elimination”, Lancet, 376(9752), pp. 1604-1615, 2010. [Link to PubMed]
B Moonen, J M Cohen, A Tatem, J L Cohen, S Hay, O Sabot, D Smith. “A Framework for Assessing the Feasibility of Malaria Elimination, Malaria Journal, 9: 322, 2010.[Link to Full Text]
Dickens W and Cohen J. Instinct and Choice: The Implications of Behavioral Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology for Policy Analysis, in Nature and Nurture: The Complex Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Behavior, C. G. Coll, E. Bearer, and R. Lerner, eds. Erlbaum, 2004. [PDF] [Link to the Book]
Cohen J and Dickens W. A Foundation for Behavioral Economics, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 92(2), May, 2002. [PDF]
Cohen J, Dickens W and A Posen. Have the New Human Resource Management Practices Lowered the Unemployment Rate?, in The Roaring Nineties: Can Full Employment be Sustained? A. Krueger and R. Solow, eds. Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2002. [PDF] [Link to the Book]