Faculty Profile

Christopher J. Ruhm

Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Photo ofChristopher J. Ruhm
434-243-3729
Garrett 204

Christopher J. Ruhm is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Policy & Economics at the University of Virginia.  He received his doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984.  Prior to joining UVa, in 2010, he held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Boston University, and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brandeis University.  During the 1996-97 academic year he served as Senior Economist on President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, where his main responsibilities were in the areas of health policy, aging and labor market issues. He is currently a Research Associate in the Health Economics, Health Care Policy, and Children’s Programs of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany. 

Professor Ruhm’s recent research has focused on examining how various aspects of health are produced – including the rise in obesity and relationship between macroeconomic conditions and health – and on the role of government policies in helping parents with young children balance the competing needs of work and family life.  His earlier research includes study of the determinants of health and risky behaviors, effects of job displacements and mandated employment benefits, transition into retirement, and the causes and consequences of alcohol and illegal drug policies.  He is co-author of Time Out With Baby: The Case for Paid Parental Leave (published by Zero to Three) Turbulence in the American Workplace (published by Oxford University Press) and has more than 80 pieces published as book chapters and articles in economics, public policy and health journals.  His research has been cited in local, national, and international media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, USA Today, Business Week, CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, and NPR.

Ruhm has received external research funding from a diverse set of organizations including the U.S. Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, several of the National Institutes of Health, the Russell Sage Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He is currently associate editor of the Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Population Economics and International Journal of Information Security and Privacy, on the editorial board of Economics Letters and the Journal of Labor Research, on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Health Economists and a steering committee member of the Southeastern Health Economics Study Group. From 2009-2011, he served as Vice President of the Southern Economic Association.

Selected Recent Publications

Private Equity and the Innovation Strategies of Entrepreneurial Firms: Empirical Evidence from the Small Business Innovation Research Program

Ruhm, Christopher J., Link, Albert N., Siegel, Donald S. “Private Equity and the Innovation Strategies of Entrepreneurial Firms: Empirical Evidence from the Small Business Innovation Research Program”, Managerial and Decision Economics , forthcoming.  read more »

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Related News & Events

Research by Chris Ruhm, a public policy professor at the University of Virginia, has shown that people tend to exercise less during economic upswings, and they tend to eat out more—and restaurant meals are usually higher in fat and calories. In Cuba, for example, a period of pronounced, years-long austerity led to a steep drop in obesity and cardiovascular disease because people walked and biked more as public transportation was scaled back. read more »

California’s program increased the probability that mothers in that state would be back at work within nine months to a year after giving birth, according to research by Christopher J. Ruhm, professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and Charles L. Baum, professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. read more »

Paid leave shouldn't be cast in such a narrow light, says University of Virginia's Christopher Ruhm. Paid family leave is a family values issue, although he admits the conservative politicians who employ that phrase aren't typically referring to the kind of work-life balance that, in his opinion, paid family leave allows read more »

"Those are certainly all plausible explanations," says Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Virginia who has studied the same links in the United States. He was not involved in the new study. He says it was limited because it did not look at a broader range of ages, but that his own work shows effects of similar magnitude among various age groups. read more »

Congratulations to the following Batten faculty and alumni presenting at the annual APPAM Research Conference November 7-9, 2013: Jennifer Doleac: The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes, Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 3:50 PM read more »

Christopher Ruhm finds that the odd relationship between recessions and mortality has disappeared in recent years read more »

Professor of Public Policy and Economics Chris Ruhm found that a one-standard-deviation increase in carbon monoxide raises the mortality rate by 2 percent read more »

New York Times highlights research done by Chris Ruhm, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, on mortality and the unemployment rate read more »

Professor Chris Ruhm's research suggests economic downturns actually improve public health. read more »

Christopher Ruhm presented at "Family Medical Leave Act at 20" conference February 6, sponsored by Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families read more »

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