Yashaswini Singh, PhD

Yashaswini Singh, PhD


I am an Assistant Professor at Brown University trained in applied microeconomics, health policy, and applied econometrics, including causal inference and experimental design. My areas of research and expertise include competition, consolidation, and vertical integration in health care markets. My primary research examines how acquisitions of physician practices by private equity funds change physician practice patterns, including strategic referral behavior, and the downstream effects on patient welfare.

My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Health Affairs, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network, featured in mainstream media outlets such as Vox, Bloomberg Business, Fortune Magazine, Politico, and received an international award from the International Health Economics Association in 2023. My teaching experience includes a diverse set of courses in health care economics, behavioral economics, and the business of health for which I received a teaching award from Johns Hopkins University in 2021.

Before graduate school, I worked as a senior analyst in the antitrust and competition practice of National Economic Research Associates (NERA) Economic Consulting in New York. I earned my PhD from Johns Hopkins University, my graduate degree in international finance from Columbia University, and my bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Bryn Mawr College.


  • Health Care Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Antitrust
  • Health Policy


  • PhD in Health Economics and Policy

    Johns Hopkins University

  • MPA in International Finance and Economic Policy

    Columbia University

  • BA in Mathematics, Economics

    Bryn Mawr College

Working Papers

Can Private Equity Buy Referrals? Evidence from Multispecialty Physician Practice Acquisitions

Multispecialty physician practices (MSP) incentivize referrals from generalists to be made to specialists within the practice. With growing acquisitions of MSP by private equity funds (PE), there is concern that high-powered for-profit incentives of PE may accelerate misalignments in patient-physician relationships to increase self-referrals with unknown implications for patient welfare. Using novel data on PE acquisitions linked to Medicare claims data, I advance the literature on PE and vertical integration in health care markets by studying the precise ways that acquisitions of MSP by PE change strategic referral behavior. I base my empirical analysis on 230 acquisitions of MSP over a 4-year period. Using a discrete choice model, I find that PE acquisitions increase self-referrals by 7 percent. I then consider the channels through which acquisitions produce such large changes in self referrals, finding that increased market power or endogenous acquisition selection cannot explain increases in self-referrals. Rather, my main results are driven by the adoption of PE’s managerial strategies. Finally, I consider the welfare implications for patients and payers. Self-referrals can reduce welfare if they foreclose competing specialists from accessing patient referrals; on the other hand, self-referrals can improve welfare if they facilitate care coordination between generalists and specialists. I find both forces to be present. Taken together, this paper contributes policy-relevant evidence of the heterogeneous effects of vertical integration that depend on the managerial environment that shape provider incentives. As the United States continues to transition towards value-based care contracts that pay for clinical performance, corporate ownership in multispecialty settings may have the potential to balance profitability and patient welfare by leveraging managerial skills to improve clinical in addition to financial outcomes.


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Johns Hopkins University

Business of Health (MBA, Prof. Dan Polsky)

Fall 2022, 2021, 2020

Introduction to Health Policy (MS/PhD, Prof. Gerard Anderson)

Fall 2021, 2020

Health Economics (MS/PhD, Prof. Aditi Sen)

Fall 2021

Health Care Finance (MS/PhD, Prof. Fred Selck)

Summer 2021, Fall 2020

Advanced Research Methods in Health Policy (PhD, Prof. Renan Castillo)

Spring 2021

Behavioral Economics and Risk (MS/PhD, Prof. Douglas Hough)

Fall 2020