Busbee Chair in Public PolicyProfessor of Public Administration and Policy

Curriculum Vitae

W. David Bradford, Ph.D. is the Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. A significant component of Dr. Bradford’s current research involves studying substance use policy, including cannabis and opioid policies. He also actively investigates: the origins of time and risk preferences, and their effects on health care related decisions; and the economics of the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Ph.D., Louisiana State University 1991, Economics
  • M.S., Louisiana State University 1989, Economics
  • B.S., Mississippi State University 1987, Foreign Languages
More About

David Bradford, Ph.D., is a health economist and the George D. Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining UGA, he was the Director and founder of the Center for Health Economic and Policy Studies at the Medical University of South Carolina, and has been a visiting faculty member at Yale Medical School and a tenured faculty member in the Department of Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Bradford has over 100 publications in the fields of economics and policy analysis and significant experience with funded research, serving or having served as Principal Investigator on 20 extramurally funded research grants.

Dr. Bradford is a Co-Editor for the journals Health Economics and an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Society for Implementation Research. He has also recently served on the Executive Board of the International Health Economics Association.  As part of his other professional service, Dr. Bradford is on the oversight boards for both the American Health Economics Conference and the Southeastern Health Economics Study Group.  Dr. Bradford served a term as a permanent member of the Health Services Organization and Delivery study section for the National Institutes of Health, in addition to serving as an ad hoc member on numerous other study sections over 15 years.

Dr. Bradford has three main areas of research interests.  First, he studies the impact of drug policy, including medical cannabis laws and opioid control policies, on health outcomes and risky behaviors.  This includes estimating the association between substance and other policy decisions on opioid-related mortality. A second significant component of Dr. Bradford’s current research involves the role of time preferences on health care related decisions.  This includes several projects that assess time preferences of individuals and determines the effect of those time preferences on the demand for preventative health care.  Other related projects include joint estimation of time and risk preferences and estimating their impacts on health insurance, health utilization and other health care related decisions.  His third primary focus involves research into the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.  This includes NIH- and AHRQ-funded research on the impact of direct to consumer advertising for prescription pharmaceuticals, the impact of various information sources on pharmaceutical use, and the effectiveness of FDA post-marketing surveillance in light of competing information availability.  Finally, Dr. Bradford also works on the role of off-label prescribing of drugs on the dynamic functioning of pharmaceutical markets.

Areas of Expertise
  • Health policy
  • Pharmaceutical policy
  • Reproductive health policy
  • Economic models of individual choice
  • Time and risk preferences and health care decision-making
  • Medicaid and Medicare policy
  • Health econometric methods
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Economics of mental health (particularly youth delinquency)
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Economics of tobacco and substance use
Course Instruction
Research Interests
  • Role of time preferences in decision making
  • Health economic policy
  • Reproductive health policy
  • Impact of information on pharmaceutical markets
  • Behavioral economics
  • Econometric methodology
  • Substance use policy
Selected Publications

Selected publications (from over 50)


  1. Bradford WD, Dolan PJ, Galizzi MM. “Looking Ahead: Subjective Time Perception and Individual Discounting.” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11166-019-09298-1 (online preprint, March 30, 2019).
  1. Bradford, WD Turner, JL, Williams JW. “Off-Label Use of Pharmaceuticals: A Detection Controlled Estimation Approach.” Journal of Industrial Economics. (forthcoming).
  1. Bradford AC, Bradford WD. “The Impact of Medical Cannabis Legalization On Prescription Medication Use and Costs in Medicare Part D.” Journal of Law and Economics. 61(3), 461-487. 2019.
  1. Bradford AC, Bradford WD, Abraham A., Adams GB. “The Impact of Medical Cannabis Laws on Opioid Prescribing in Medicare Part D, 2010-2015.” JAMA – Internal Medicine. 178(5):667-672. 2018.
  1. Bradford, WD. Courtemanch C, Heutel G, McAlanah P, Ruhm, C. “Time Preferences and Consumer Behavior.” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. 55(2-3): 119-145. 2017.
  1. Bradford AC, Bradford WD. “Medical Marijuana Laws May Be Associated With Decline In The Number Of Prescriptions For Medicaid Enrollees.” Health Affairs, 36(5): 945-951, 2017.
  1. Bradford AC, Bradford WD. “Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D.” Health Affairs. 35(7): 1230-1236, 2016.
  2. Bradford WD, Kleit AN. “Impact of FDA Actions, DTCA and Public Information on the Market for Pain Medication” Health Economics. 24(7): 859-875, 2015.
  1. Atkins DN, Bradford WD. “Association Between Increased Emergency Contraception Availability and Risky Sexual Practices” Health Services Research. 50(3), 809-829, 2015. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12251.
  1. Bradford WD, Lastrapes WD. “A Prescription of Unemployment? Recessions and the Demand for Mental Health Drugs” Health Economics 23(1): 1301-1325, 2014.
  1. Bradford WD, Dolan P. “Getting Used to It: The Adaptive Global Utility Model.” Journal of Health Economics. 29(6): 811-820, 2010.
  1. Bradford WD. “The Association Between Individual Time Preferences and Health Maintenance Habits.” Medical Decision Making. 30(February): 99-112, 2010.
  1. Bradford WD, Kliet AN., Neitert PJ, Ornstein S. “The Effect of Direct to Consumer Television Advertising on the Timing of Treatment.” Economic Inquiry. 48(2): 306-322, 2010.
  1. Terza JV, Bradford WD, Dismuke CE. “The Use of Linear Instrumental Variables Methods in Health Services Research and Health Economics: A Cautionary Note.” Health Services Research. 43(3): 1102-1120, 2008.
  1. Bradford WD, Kleit AN, Neitert PJ, Steyer T, McIlwain T, Ornstein S. “How Direct to Consumer Television Advertising for Osteoarthritis Drugs Affects Physicians’ Prescribing Behavior.” Health Affairs. 25(5):1371-1377, 2006. 
  1. Bradford WD. “Pregnancy and the Demand for Cigarettes.” American Economic Review, 93(5): 1752-1763, 2003.