Wesleyan portrait of Damien Francis Sheehan-Connor

Damien Francis Sheehan-Connor

Associate Professor of Economics

Public Affairs Center, 414


BA Amherst College
MD Tufts University
PHD University Calif Santa Bar

Damien Francis Sheehan-Connor

My research focuses on the health impacts of public policies, particularly those involving automobile safety and bone marrow transplantation.

Specifically, my research on policies impacting automobile safety concerns: (1) the impact of environmental policies such as gas taxes or fuel economy standards on accident fatalities; (2) the impact of crash testing programs on accident fatalities; (3) the behavioral response of drivers to changes in automobile safety; and (4) the value put on safety by consumers as evidenced by their choice of automobile.

My research on the economics of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (colloquially, "bone marrow transplantation") has been carried out jointly with Ted Bergstrom and Rod Garratt of the University of California Santa Barbara.  We have focused on (1) determining the optimal size and composition of the bone marrow registry; and (2) motivations of potential donors and incentives to encourage voluntary registration.

My path to academic economics was not a direct one.  At Amherst College, I did an interdisciplinary major in Biophysics and wrote a thesis exploring a model quantum tunneling in ionic membrane channels.  I also took several economics classes that convinced me that economics was a useful lens for thinking about public policies.  My next stop was Tufts University School of Medicine, where I received an MD degree in 2000.  In medical school, I developed an interest in public policies related to the health system and decided that economics was my preferred disciplinary approach for thinking about them.  I received my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2008 and began my career at Wesleyan that fall.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Wednesday 10-11:30am, 1:30-3pm


Fall 2024
ECON 110 - 03
Intro to Economic Theory

ECON 322 - 01
Public Finance