Kai Ruggeri

Kai Ruggeri

Kai Ruggeri

Assistant Professor
Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Medical Center
Vice Chair, Admissions


722 W 168th Street
New York NY USA 10032
Email: Twitter:


Dr Kai Ruggeri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management. 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. He studies how policy influences population behavior, and how integrating behavioral evidence into policies can improve economic outcomes and population well-being. His teaching is primarily in analytics, decision-making, behavioral policy, and managerial economics. 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. Partners include local and national governments, non-profit organizations, industry, and other academic institutions, in New York, various parts of the US, and abroad. 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 and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences.


BA, North Central College
PhD, The Queen's University, Belfast

Mailman Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management

Columbia Affiliations

Other Affiliations

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. No-shows, for example, increase the likelihood that patients will eventually visit emergency rooms and be hospitalized for conditions that could have been caught and treated at clinics. 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 research team intends to do precisely that – reduce missed appointments at community clinics – by using big data and Bayesian machine learning techniques to understand why patients miss appointments and what can be done to help them keep them. The researchers have partnered with the Community Healthcare Network, a federally funded clinic in New York City serving disadvantaged communities.

Select Global Activities

Select Publications

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.
Ruggeri, K., Yoon, H., Kacha, O., van der Linden, S., & Muennig, P. (2017). Policy and population behavior in the age of Big Data. Current Opinion in Behavioral Science, 18, 1-6.

Back to Top