Dr Joan Costa-Font

Dr Joan Costa-Font

Associate Professor (Reader) in Political Economy

Department of Health Policy

020 7955 6484
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About me

Dr Joan Costa-Font works at LSE as an Associate Professor (‘Reader’) in the Departments of Health 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 three undergraduate and research degrees, in economics, law and political science from Barcelona, a master’s degree from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in 1998, an MSc (Econ) in international health policy (specialising in health economics and public economics) and a PhD in economics (specialized in health economics). In 2001, he earned a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship based at LSE and before joining LSE in 2007, he taught at the University of Barcelona, where he was associate professor of applied economics. At LSE, he was promoted to senior lecturer (2010) and then reader (2012). He collaborates with LSE Health and the International Inequalities Institute, as well as the CESIfo research network. 

Current research

Most of his research has a strong policy focus, falls at the intersection of ‘health economics’ and ‘political economy’, and draws heavily on insights from ‘social and behavioral economics’.

On the whole, his  current work revolves around three main themes. The first one considers health and long-term care financing and especially, the interaction of public and private sectors, the role of self-insurance (via housing) and its effect on health inequality. The second broadly examines the design and foundation of social (e.g., identity, etc) and institutional (e.g., political etc) incentives for health and other behaviours (e.g., sleep, obesity, attitudes to health inequality). Finally, he is interested in the origins of health disadvantage and its effects economic behavior (e.g., effects on employment, productivity, savings, etc).

His published work can be found in the main field journals in health economics (e.g., American Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Social Science and Medicine), in some leading journals in economics and economic policy (e.g., Economica, Journal of the European Economic Association,Economic Policy, Oxford Review of Economic Policy) and some of the reference journals in behavioural economics (e.g., Journal of Risk and Uncertainty), political economy (e.g., Public Choice), economic geography (e.g. Economic Geography), social statistics (e.g., Journal of the Royal Statistical Society), as well as policy journals specialised on health (e.g., Health Policy and Planning) and nutrition (e.g., Food Policy).

Check his website for a more detailed description.

Read Dr Costa-Font's latest publication: 'The ‘Healthy Worker Effect’: Do Healthy People Climb the Occupational Ladder?'

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

Positions held

  • Associate Professor (Reader) of Political Economy, Department of Health Policy and European Institute
  • Research Associate, LSE Health
  • CESifo Network Fellow


behavioural incentive design; economics of ageing; health disadvantage; health and social protection; health economics; health insurance; identity economics; intergenerational transmission; lifestyles

My research

See more research