Olmstead, Todd | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy, Harvard University, 2000
  • M.S. in Operations Research, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994
  • M.S. in Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1989
  • B.S. in Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1987
Teaching Areas
  • Research and Empirical Methods
  • Social Policy

Todd Olmstead is an associate professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. At the LBJ School, Olmstead conducts economic evaluations of a wide variety of health care programs and teaches courses in empirical methods, management science, and health economics. He is the health economist on several large grants funded by the National Institutes of Health. Current research projects include estimating the cost-effectiveness of:

  • providing mental health services to low-income pregnant and parenting women living in public housing systems;
  • using technology to improve retention in and adherence to addiction treatment for individuals with opioid use disorders;
  • providing early childhood obesity prevention programs to children attending Head Start centers;
  • using mailed FIT (fecal immunochemical test) kits to screen for colorectal cancer in a safety net clinic population;
  • providing financial incentives to promote HIV testing among high-risk women; and
  • providing financial incentives to promote job-seeking activities among unemployed persons living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to his work in health care, Olmstead has published in the areas of intelligent transportation systems, highway safety and administrative rulemaking.

Media Expertise
  • Health Economics
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Care Policy
  • Health Care


NewsJuly 29, 2021
Austin-area residential treatment program improves mental health, saves taxpayers millions

An Austin-area residential mental health care facility is treating a large population experiencing homelessness while saving the local health care system millions annually, according to new peer-reviewed research from The University of Texas at Austin, published today in Psychiatric Services.

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NewsMay 13, 2021
Austin screening initiative strikes a cost-effective balance in colorectal cancer prevention among underserved populations

We are one step closer to identifying an optimal solution for colorectal cancer screening among low-income populations – one that is both impactful and cost effective – thanks to researchers from The University of Texas at Austin. The study of more than 22,000 adults is published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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NewsApril 9, 2021
Todd Olmstead on team awarded $3.5M grant to study peer recovery support in substance use treatment

LBJ School Professor of Public Affairs Todd Olmstead is a co-investigator on a recently awarded National Institutes of Health grant to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of using peer recovery supports (paraprofessionals who have "lived experience" with substance use problems) to improve treatment adherence and reduce treatment dropout among emerging adults (ages 18-25) with substance use disorders.

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