Mr Matthew Purcell

Mr Matthew Purcell

PhD student

Department of Economic History

Office Hours
Wednesdays 16:20-17:20. Book via Studenthub
Key Expertise
Health, social mobility, mortality, 19th-20th c US

About me

Matthew’s PhD thesis focuses on the interplay between infant and child health and later life outcomes. Using the US South during the early 20th century, the thesis investigates the effects of major health changes, including public health interventions, medical professional licensing, and urbanisation. The research examines how these changes led to improved, yet unequally distributed, living standards across cohort and racial groups. 

Matthew holds a BA in Economics from the University of Florida, as well as an MSc in Economic History (Distinction) from the London School of Economics. From 2018-2020, Matthew served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, as a Rural Family Health Educator. 

Aside from his PhD thesis topic, Matthew is interested in social determinants of health and the three-way channel between healthcare, economic development, and social change.


Provisional Dissertation Title

  • 'Development and Disparities: exploring the determinants of maternal and infant health in the early-20th century US South' 

Dissertation Supervisors

  • Dr Eric Schneider, Professor Sara Horrell


Expertise Details

Socio-economic determinants of health; social mobility; mortality; 19th-20th c US