Dr. You's overarching goal is to understand the economic causes of health disparities and promote healthy lifestyle choices of individuals through the creative integration of economics and interdisciplinary research.
The focus of Dr. You’s program has been to understand the economic causes of health disparities through the creative integration of economics and other disciplines. The current primary focus is on the obesity epidemic that is placing a significant medical burden on society and affecting the quality of life of people in Virginia and throughout the world.
Dr. You’s research program revolves around three topics that are crucial for health quality improvement: a) choices within social and physical environment; b) incentives for behavior changes; and c) evaluations of health policies and programs. These topics are interrelated in that individual lifestyle choices within the environment (both social and physical) are the channels through which health policies and programs take effects. To better improve policy and program effectiveness, it is essential to know how people react to different incentives and how the reactions result in individual choices. The common thread running through these topics is the role of choice in the context of social and physical environment.