Associate Professor

School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs;
Department of Economics


Alicia Sasser #32



Dr. Alicia Sasser Modestino is an associate professor with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics. Previously, Modestino was a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston where she lead numerous research projects on regional economic and policy issues for the New England Public Policy Center. In that role, she frequently advised policymakers and business leaders and testified on key pieces of legislation related to health care and labor market policies. Modestino holds both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, where she also served as a doctoral fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government.


Research Interests:
Her research focuses on the interaction between health care and labor markets, ranging across four key areas:  state health care reform, physician labor markets, the value of new health technologies and interventions, and public health interventions.  Her work has appeared in journals such as Health Affairs, Journal of Human Resources, and Regional Science and Urban Economics and has been presented at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association. Her most recent working paper examines the impact of the Massachusetts’ health care reform law on small employers to provide insight to policymakers at the federal level as they implement the Affordable Care Act.


Classed Taught:

Doctoral Seminar in Labor Economics: Lecture-based

Capstone in Urban and Regional Policy: Master’s level course


Recent Publications:

“The Impact of Managed Care on the Gender Earnings Gap Among Physicians.”  Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Research Department Working Paper 13-1 (2013).


“The Value Of Antihypertensive Drugs: A Perspective On Medical Innovation,” with David M. Cutler, Genia Long, Ernst R. Berndt, Jimmy Royer, Andrée-Anne Fournier, and Pierre Cremieux. Health Affairs, vol. 26, no. 1: 97-110  (2007).


“Gender Differences in Physician Pay: Tradeoffs Between Career and Family.” Journal of Human Resources, vol. 40, no. 2 (2005).


“Assessing the Economic Impact of Chronic Conditions in Post-Menopausal Women,” with Maida Taylor, Howard Birnbaum, Michael Schoenfeld, Emily Oster, and Matthew Rousculp. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, vol. 6, no. 11: 1803-1814 (2005).


“Economic Burden of Osteoporosis, Breast Cancer, and Cardiovascular Disease Among Postmenopausal Women in an Employed Population,” with Matthew Rousculp, Howard Birnbaum, Emily Oster, Edward Lufkin, and David Mallet. Women’s Health Issues, vol. 15, no. 3: 97-108, (2005).