Dr Kai Ruggeri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management. He studies fundamental questions of population behavior and decision-making, with a focus on how how integrating behavioral evidence into policies can reduce inequalities and improve population well-being. His recent projects involve behavioral policy studies focusing on large-scale data related to economic choices and related outcomes, which have been covered in media around the world. Collaborating partners include local and national governments, non-profit organizations, industry, and other academic institutions, in New York, various parts of the US, and abroad. Kai joined Columbia from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, where he directed the Policy Research Group that he founded in 2013. At Mailman, his teaching is primarily in analytics, decision-making, behavioral policy, and managerial economics. He is always happy to meet with students that are interested in getting involved in these topics, whether on the research side, for policy, or in industry. Kai also directs the Junior Researcher Programme, a global initiative for early career behavioral scientists, which is now partnered with the Global Behavioral Science (GLOBES) program he directs at Columbia. He is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Business Research at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences. Kai completed his PhD at Queen's University, Belfast, in Northern Ireland.
Select Urban Health Activities
Nudging New York: Federally funded healthcare centers provide medical care to more than 20 million Americans who live in impoverished areas. Yet in many of those areas, nearly half the patients who make medical appointments at the centers are unable to keep their appointments. Data show that patient no-shows, and the missed opportunities for needed medical care, place an enormous health burden on disadvantaged communities. As such, even small decreases in no-show rates at community healthcare clinics will improve the health of vulnerable populations and reduce the nation's medical costs. This work aims to leverage sophisticated methods in data science as well as the growing evidence on behavioral policy to aim to improve access to care in those communities.
Select Global Activities
Ruggeri, K., & Folke, T. (forthcoming). Unstandard deviation: The untapped value of positive deviance for reducing inequalities. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Preprint doi: 10.31234/osf.io/8wky5
Ruggeri, K., Jarke, H., El-Zein, L., Verdeli, H., & Folke, T. (2021). Mental health and decisions under risk among refugees and the public in Lebanon. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1), 1-11.
Ruggeri, K., Veckalov, B., Bojanic, L., Andersen, T. L., Ashcroft-Jones, S., Ayacaxli, N., ... & Folke, T. (2021). The general fault in our fault lines. Nature Human Behaviour, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01092-x
Ruggeri, K., Ali, S., Berge, M. L., Bertoldo, G., Bjorndal, L. D., Cortijos-Bernabeu, A., ... & Folke, T. (2020). Replicating patterns of prospect theory for decision under risk. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 622-633.
Ruggeri, K., Garcia-Garzon, E., Maguire, Á., Matz, S., & Huppert, F. A. (2020). Well-being is more than happiness and life satisfaction: a multidimensional analysis of 21 countries. Health and quality of life outcomes, 18(1), 1-16.
Ruggeri, K., Benzerga, A., Verra, S., & Folke, T. A behavioral approach to personalizing public health. Behavioural Public Policy, 1-13.
Ruggeri, K., van der Linden, S., Wang, Y. C., Papa, F., Riesch, J., Green, J. (2020). Standards for evidence in policy decision-making. Nature Research Social and Behavioural Sciences, 399005. go.nature.com/2zdTQIs
Ruggeri, K., Folke, T., Benzerga, A., Verra, S., Buttner, C., Steinbeck, V., ... & Chaiyachati, K. (2020). Nudging New York: adaptive models and the limits of behavioral interventions to reduce no-shows and health inequalities. BMC Health Services Research, 20, 1-11.
Ruggeri, K. (2019). Behavioral insights for public policy: Cases and concepts. Routledge.
Huppert, F., & Ruggeri, K. (2018). 15. Policy challenges: Well-being as a priority in public mental health. In D. Bhugra, K. Bhui, S. Wong, & S. Gilman (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Public Mental Health. Oxford University Press.