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Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD

Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD

Associate Director for Global Health, CHIBE

Division Chief of Health Policy, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy
Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
Penn Development Research Initiative Co-Director


Harsha Thirumurthy is the Division Chief of Health Policy and a Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Associate Director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and a Research Associate at Penn’s Population Studies Center. In addition, he also serves as Co-Director of the Penn Development Research Initiative and the Behavioral Economics and Global Health Insights Lab. Dr. Thirumurthy’s interests lie at the intersection of economics and public health. A major focus of his research has been to use insights from economics and psychology to design and evaluate interventions to achieve better health outcomes in low-income settings. He has led numerous randomized trials of behavioral interventions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. His research has also evaluated the population-level effects of large-scale health initiatives as well as economic policies like cash transfer programs. He has published peer-reviewed articles in leading journals in economics, public health, and medicine. In 2020, Dr. Thirumurthy co-founded the Indlela nudge unit to strengthen local research capacity in behavioral economics and health in South Africa. Dr. Thirumurthy completed a PhD in economics at Yale University.