Dr Joan Costa-i-Font


Dr Costa-Font earned two undergraduate and research degrees, in economics (1996) and law (1997), both from Universitat de Barcelona, a master's degree in economic analysis from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in 1998. In 2000 he moved to LSE where he completed an MSc (Econ) in international health policy (specialising in health economics and public economics). After completing a PhD in economics, in 2001 he earned a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship based at LSE until 2003. He then moved back to Barcelona, where he joined the faculty of economics to teach microeconomics and health economics as a tenured lecturer (equivalent to associate professor in the US). During his time at the University of Barcelona, he set up the Centre for Economic Analysis and Social Policies, completed a third degree in political science and carried out research and consultancy for the World Bank and the European Commission. He joined the LSE faculty in 2007, initially as a lecturer and senior research fellow, and later as senior lecturer (2010) and then reader (2012) in Political Economy.

His main academic responsibilities include being stream convener of the MPA public and social policy, co-editing the journal Applied Economics, Perspectives and Policy  (recently awarded an impact factor of 1.552 in 'Economics') , the LEQS Discussion Paper Series and has assisted the editing of a range of academic journals in his areas of specialism including being a special issue editor of the  Oxford Review of Economic Policy and the CESIfo Economic Studies among other journals.  

Positions held

Research Summary

Dr Joan Costa Font (Joan) is Reader ( 'Associate Professor' in the US) in Political Economy at LSE. His main research interest is on the political economy ('economics grounded policy & institutional analysis') of health, aging and wellbeing. More specifically, Joan's research agenda attempts to understand the influence of both social (non-monetary) incentives (culture, identity, status, self-image, altruism), and institutional arrangements accommodating preference heterogeneity (primarily the federalisation and financial reform of health systems) on health, insurance and redistribution. He has just finished editing a book "Federalism and Decentralization in European Health and Social Care" (with Greer, S) and is currently working together with different CEP and STICERD colleagues on the effects of life course events and policy reforms on wellbeing and health inequalities. In 2012/13 he will be a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University working on long term care insurance design.


Social Policy

SA4F7 The Economics of European Social Policy
|SA4E9 Advanced Health Economics|

European Institute

EU455 Concepts in Political Economy| 
EU439 Political and Fiscal Integration and Disintegration in EU Member States|

Research Interests/Areas of Research Supervision

  • Political Economy of Long Term Care Financing and Design
  • Political Economy of Health Systems and Medicines Regulation
  • Economic Theory of Social Motivation, Ideas and Redistribution
  • Social and Life-course Transmission of Inequalities and Lifestyles

Recent publications