Ralph Catalano PhD, MRP

Professor of the Graduate School, Public Health
  • PH 226C: Public Health and the Economy
  • PH 200C: Public Health Breadth Course
  • PH 203A: Theories of Health and Social Behavior
  • PH 233: Seminar on Place and Health
Research Interests: 
  • The implications of selection in utero for population health
  • The economy of stressor
Research Description: 

Catalano studies the implications of population stressors for gestation. His best known work focuses on the economy as stressor and fetal death as an outcome. The work shows that environmental stressors affect who survives gestation and, therefore, the health of birth cohorts that sum into the populations for public health professionals take responsibility.

Current Projects: 

Catalano directs the California Perinatal Outcomes Project that estimates risk adjusted perinatal mortality for licensed obstetric services in the state. He is also director of the UC Berkeley Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program. In addition, he is co-principal investigator on the NIH-funded R24 project that supports research on the Berkeley campus into early life predictors of later life health.

Selected Publications: 

Catalano, R., Margerison, C., Saxton, K., & Bruckner, T. (2010). Selection in utero: A biological response to mass layoffs. American Journal of Human Biology. 22: 396-400.

Catalano, R., Saxton, K., Bruckner, T., Goldman, S., & Anderson, E. (2009). A sex-specific test of selection in utero. Theoretical Biology. 257: 475-479.

Catalano, R. (2009). Health, medical care, and economic crises. New England Journal of Medicine. 360: 750-751.

Catalano, R and Bruckner, T. (2006) Secondary Sex Ratios and Male Lifespan: Damaged or Culled Cohorts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 103: 1639–1643.

Bruckner, T. and Catalano, R. (2006). Economic Antecedents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Annals of Epidemiology. 16: 415-422.

Catalano, R. and Bruckner, T. (2006). Child Mortality and Cohort Life Span: A Test of Diminished Entelechy.  International Journal of Epidemiology.  35: 1264 – 1269.

Catalano, R., Bruckner, T., Marks, A., and Eskenazi, B. (2006). Exogenous Shocks to the Human Sex Ratio: The Case of September 11th in New York City. Human Reproduction. 21: 3127 - 3131.

Kessell, E., Catalano, R., Christy, A., and Monahan, J. (2006). Unemployment and the Incidence of Involuntary Psychiatric Examinations Based on Risk of Harm to Others: Evidence from Florida. Psychiatric Services. 57: 1435-1439.

Kessell, E., and Catalano, R. (2006). Mass Layoffs and Tolerance for Mental Illness: Racial Differences in the Economy's Effect on Coerced Treatment. In Kieselbach, T., Winefield, A.H., Boyd, C. & Anderson, S. (Eds). Unemployment and health: International and interdisciplinary perspectives. Bowen Hills Qld: Australian Academic Press.

Catalano, R., and Bruckner, T. (2006).  Male lifespan and the secondary sex ratio.  American Journal of Human Biology. 18:783-790.

Catalano, R. & Bruckner, T. (2005). Economic antecedents of the Swedish sex ratio. Social Science and Medicine, 60:537-543.

Catalano, R., Bruckner, T., Gould, J., Eskenazi, B., and Anderson, B. (2005). Sex ratios in California following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Human Reproduction, 20:1221-1227.

Catalano, R., Coffman, J., Bloom, J., Kang, S., & Ma, Y. (2005). The Impact of Capitated Financing on Psychiatric Emergency Services.  Psychiatric Services, 56:685-690.

Catalano, R., Kessell, E., Christie, A., and Monahan, J. (2005). Involuntary examinations for danger to others in Florida following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Psychiatric Services, 56:858-862.

Catalano, R., Bruckner, T., Anderson, B., and Gould, J. (2005). Fetal Death Sex Ratios: A Test of the Economic Stress Hypothesis. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34:944–948.

Catalano, R., Bruckner, T., Hartig, T., & Ong, M. (2005). Population stress and the Swedish sex ratio. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.19: 413–420.

Catalano, R. and Bellows, B. (2005).  If Economic Expansion Threatens Public Health, Should Epidemiologists Recommend Recession? International Journal of Epidemiology. 34: 1212-1213.

Catalano, R., Kessell, E., McConnell, W., & Pirkle, E. (2004). Psychiatric Emergencies Following the Attacks of September 11, 2001. Psychiatric Services, 55:163-166.

Catalano, R. & Hartig, T. (2004). Economic Predictors of Admissions to Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment in Sweden. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39:305-310.

Shumway, M., Unick, J., McConnell, W., Catalano, R., & Forster, P.  (2004). Measuring Community Preferences for Public Mental Health Services: Pilot Test of a Mail Survey Method. Community Mental Health Journal, 40: 282-295.

Catalano, R. & Maus, M. (2004). Economic Antecedents of Temporal Variation in the Incidence of Ocular Trauma. Opthalmic Epidemiology, 11:279-290.

Other interests: 

Catalano is one of five elected members of the UC Berkeley Divisional Council that oversees the affairs of the campus Academic Senate.

Profile Updated: July 1, 2016