J. Paul Leigh, Ph.D.

J. Paul Leigh, Ph.D.




  • Professor, Public Health Sciences


UC Davis

Medical Sciences 1-C, One Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
Driving Directions

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Philosophy of Care

"If its not fun, its not health economics."

Dr. Leigh's hobby is watching TV.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Leigh's clinical interests are occupational safety and health, workers compensation, social and economic determinants of health.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr Leigh's research focuses on the intersection between labor economics and social epidemiology. He has published on: the effects of minimum wages on worker and family health; the effects of labor unions on worker and public health; economic burden of occupational injuries and illnesses 


Public Health Sciences

Center/Program Affiliation

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research


Ph.D., Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 1979

B.A., Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 1973

Professional Memberships

American Public Health Association

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Research Scientist from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Director John Howard's Award, 2007

Select Recent Publications

Leigh JP. Treatment design, health outcomes, and demographic categories in the literature on minimum wages and health. Econ Hum Biol. 2021 Dec;43:101043. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2021.101043. Epub 2021 Jul 8. PMID:34425521.

Leigh JP, Chakalov B. Labor unions and health: A literature review of pathways and outcomes in the workplace. Prev Med Rep. 2021 Aug 2;24:101502. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101502. PMID:34471593.

Leigh JP. Invited Commentary: Methods for Estimating Effects of Minimum Wages on Health. Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Jan 4;190(1):31-34. doi:10.1093/aje/kwaa019. PMID:32037443.

Leigh JP, Leigh WA, Du J. Minimum wages and public health: A literature review. Prev Med. 2019 Jan;118:122-134. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.005. Epub 2018 Oct 12. PMID:30316876.

Du J, Leigh JP. Effects of minimum wages on absence from work due to illness. The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. 2018 Nov 13;18(1):1-23.

Leigh JP. Could Raising the Minimum Wage Improve the Public's Health? Am J Public Health. 2016 Aug;106(8):1355-6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303288. PMID:27400346.

Du J, Leigh JP. Effects of wages on smoking decisions of current and past smokers. Ann Epidemiol. 2015 Aug;25(8):575-582.e1. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2015.03.016. Epub 2015 Apr 28. PMID:26066536.

Leigh JP, Markis CA, Iosif AM, Romano PS. California's nurse-to-patient ratio law and occupational injury. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2015 May;88(4):477-84. doi:10.1007/s00420-014-0977-y. Epub 2014 Sep 13. Erratum in: Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2015 May;88(4):485-6. PMID:25216822.

Leigh JP, Du J. Are low wages risk factors for hypertension? Eur J Public Health. 2012 Dec;22(6):854-9. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckr204. Epub 2012 Jan 18. PMID:22262559.

For Google Scholar citations, visit: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=8AIyADcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao