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Dr Joan Costa-i-Font



Dr Joan Costa-I-Font
Associate Professor (Reader) of Political Economy

European Institute,
Department of Social Policy

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6484
Email: j.costa-font@lse.ac.uk 
Room: OLD 2.37


Dr Joan Costa-Font works at LSE as an Associate Professor of (‘Reader’ in) Political Economy, in the Departments of Social Policy and the European Institute. Joan is a CESifo network research fellow, and has been Harkness fellow at Harvard University and visiting fellow at UCL Economics department, Boston College (CRR), Oxford University (IA) and the University of Munich (CES).

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 associate professor. 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 later as senior lecturer (2010) and then reader (2012) in Political Economy.

Research Agenda

Joan’s research falls at the intersection of ‘health economics’ and ‘political economy’, and contributes to at least one of the four following research programs below:

i) Health and long-term care financing,
(ii) the origins and consequences of health disadvantage,
(iii) political agency and its effects on health and health care, and
(iv) the social formation of health and other behaviour

Check his website for a more detailed description.

Positions Held

Main Teaching

SA4F7 The Economics of European Social Policy

Selected Publications (by research programme)

A. Health and long-term care financing


1. 'The Economics of New Health Technologies'' with Alistair McGuire and Christophe Courbage. Oxford University Press. 2009.
2.  "Long Term Care Financing in Europe: Institutions, Markets and Models" (with Courbage, C. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)


1. “Do you have to win it to fix it? A longitudinal study of lottery winner and their health care demand” (with Cheng, T and Powdthavee, N). American Journal of Health Economics, 2017, in press.
2. “Careful in the Crisis? Determinants of Older People’s Informal Care Receipt in Crisis Struck European Countries” (with Karlsson, M and H Øien). Health Economics, 2016, 25 (S2) :25-42.
3. “Financing Long Term Care: Ex-Ante, Ex-Post or Both?” (with Swartz, K and Courbage, C) Health Economics, 2015, 24: S45–S57
4. “Crowding Out of Long-Term Care Insurance: Evidence from European Expectations data” (with Courbage, C). Health Economics, 2015, 24: S74–S88.Main Articles
5. “Price Regulation and Relative Delays in Generic Drug Adoption” (with McGuire, A and Varol, N). Journal of Health Economics, 2014, 38, 1-9.
6. "Family Ties and the Crowding Out of Long Term Care Insurance”. Oxford
Review of Economic Policy
, 2010, 26(4): 691-712
7. “Ageing, health, and health care” (with Breyer, F and Felder, S). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2010, 26(4): 674-90

B. The origins and consequences of health disadvantage


1. “LSE Companion to Health Policy “(with McGuire A), Elgar Edward, 2012.      


1. “Income Inequalities in Unhealthy Lifestyles in England and Spain” (with Hernandez-Quevedo, C and Jiménez-Rubio, D). Economics and Human Biology, 2014, 13: 66-75. 2. “Intergenerational and Socioeconomic Gradients of Child Obesity” (with Gil, J). Social Science Medicine, 2013, 93(1): 29-37.
3. “Measuring health inequality with categorical data: some regional patterns” (with Cowell, F). Research in Economic Inequality, 2013, 21: 53-76.
4. “Measuring Inequalities in Health: What do we Know? What do we need to Know?” (with Hernandez-Quevedo, C) . Health Policy, 2012, 106(2): 195-206.
5. “Persistence despite Action” Health Inequalities in England, 1997-2007” (with McGuire, A and Hernandez, C).Health Policy, 2011, 103(2-3), 149– 159.
6. “Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps Between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis” (with D Fabbri and J Gil). Economics and Human Biology 2009, 7(3): 351–365

C. Political agency and its effects on health and health care


1. "Federalism and decentralization in European health and social care" (with Scott Greer.) Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. 2012.


1. “When does Inter-jurisdictional Competition engender a “Race to the Bottom?”A MetaRegression Analysis” (with Albuquerque, F and Doucouliagos, H). Economics & Politics, 2015, 27(3): 488-508.
2. “Do Jurisdictions Compete on Taxes? A Meta-Regression Analysis” (with C, Doucouliagos and De-Albuquerque, F). Public Choice, 2014, 161(3-4), pp 451-470.
3. “Public Health Expenditure and Spatial Interactions in a Decentralized National Health System”, (with J Pons) Health Economics, 2007, 16 (3): 291 – 306
4. “Vertical Competition in the Spanish National Health System (NHS)”, (with A Rico) Public Choice, 2006,128 (3-4): 477-498.
5. “Devolution and the Inter-regional Inequalities in Health and Health Care in Spain”, (with A Rico). Regional Studies, 2006, 40(8): 875–887.

D. The social formation of health and other behaviour


1. ‘Social Economics: Current and Emerging Avenues‘ (with Macis, M). MIT Press, 2016


1. “Social Identity and Redistributive Preferences: A Survey” (with Cowell, F). Journal of Economic Surveys, 2015, 29(2): 357-74.
2. “Anorexia, Body Image and Peer Effects: Evidence from a Sample of European Women” (with Jofre-Bonet, M). Economica, 2013, 44(317): 44-64.
3. “Behavioural adjustment to avian flu in Europe during spring 2006: the roles of knowledge and proximity” (with Rudisill, C and Mossialos, E). Social Science and Medicine, 2012, 75(8): 1362-1371.
4. “Decomposing cross-country differences in levels of obesity and overweight: does the social environment matter?” (with J Gil, J and D Fabbri), Social Science and Medicine, 2010, 70 (8) : 1185–1193.
5. “Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation” (with I Clots, O Aspachs and P Masella), Journal of the European Economic Association, 2008, 6(2- 3): 434-444.

For a more extensive and detailed list of publications, please see Joan's LSE Research Online, European Institute and RePEc profiles, as well as his Google Scholar Citations.

Media and Blogs

Joan's personal website is here and he can be followed at @JoanCostaiFont