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Welcome from the Director

The Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) is an interdisciplinary research center that supports impactful, policy relevant scholarship in the areas of health economics and social policy analysis. Housed in the College of Arts & Letters, CHEPS brings together faculty and graduate students engaged in complementary research in the areas of national defense policy, economic demography, the economics of crime and punishment, and the economics of risky health behaviors. 

The mission of the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) is to strengthen the community of scholars at SDSU conducting cutting-edge, externally funded research in health economics and public policy and to facilitate integration of faculty scholarship with our student research community. CHEPS will encourage cutting-edge scholarship in the economics of health, labor, and public economics via:

  • the CHEPS Seminar Series, which will include leading applied microeconomics and public health scholars;
  • a publicly available CHEPS Working Paper Series; 
  • research fellowships, which will allow graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to work with faculty on high quality, impactful, research;
  • student academic conference travel, which will help expose students to ongoing cutting-edge scholarship on relevant public policy topics; 
  • one-on-one and team-based mentorship of students pursuing doctoral degrees in Economics, Public Policy, and Public Health;
  • instruction on the role of incentives, free markets, and cost-benefit analysis to understand optimal policy creation and the link between economic liberty and human freedom; 
  • grant writing to public agencies and private foundations to support scholarly activities, including funding student research assistantships; 
  • engaging the media and policymakers with evidence-based policy recommendations.

We hope to see you at the Center!

Joseph J. Sabia signature

Joseph J. Sabia, 
Director of the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS)
[email protected] 


Joseph J. Sabia is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) at San Diego State University. Dr. Sabia is a labor and health economist whose research examines the economics of risky health behaviors, minimum wage policy, labor market discrimination against sexual minorities, and the effects of war on military families. His work has appeared in such journals as the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, the American Journal of Health Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the American Economic Review (Proceedings), and the National Tax Journal. Dr. Sabia's scholarship has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. His research has received funding support from variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute (ESSPRI) at UC-Irvine, the Employment Policies Institute, and the Charles Koch Foundation. Dr. Sabia is a Research Fellow at the Forschungsinstitutzur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA) in Bonn, Germany and at ESSPRI  He received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University and is a faculty affiliate at the Cornell Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors and Disparities. Prior to his current position at San Diego State University, Dr. Sabia held faculty appointments at the University of Georgia, American University, and the United States Military Academy-West Point.

View his curriculum vitae for more information.