PhD Studentship in Health Economics The economics and econometrics of health care workforce

The Topic

Health care systems are built on their workers – doctors, nurses, other health professionals, carers and many others. In a publicly funded system such as the National Health Service in the UK, a great deal of resources are expended in training, recruiting and retaining these health care workers and there is growing interest in research that helps in understanding how workforce resources can be better planned and managed.

This is an exciting opportunity to conduct original research on the interface between labour economics, econometrics and health economics. The intellectual challenge is to take the ideas and concepts of conventional labour economics and apply these to the particular circumstances and institutional settings of health care delivery. It is expected that the programme of research leading to a PhD will include elements of both theoretical (economic) and empirical (econometric) investigation with the goal of better understanding the forces that shape the development of health care workforce. In respect of econometrics there will be opportunities to access extensive and detailed data sets concerning health care workers in the NHS.

Some possible research questions are:

  • What factors should be expected to contribute to or mitigate turnover of health care workers?
  • How quantitatively important are those factors?
  • What policies might be pursued to reduce turnover?

There are many other possible avenues to explore depending on your skills and interests. 

Supervision and Research Environment

The successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Martin Chalkley in CHE and registered through the Department of Economics and Related Studies. This is an opportunity to work in close contact with researchers in one of the most successful health economics research groups in the UK. 

CHE ( has a leading international reputation, and is one of the world’s largest health economics research centres. Its mission is to undertake “high quality research that is capable of influencing health policy decisions”. The Centre attracts some of the best and brightest people in the field in the form of PhD students and visitors from overseas, creating a vibrant research environment. The University of York is widely recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK, currently placed in the top ten in the UK for both research and teaching. 

The Award

Funding will include a yearly stipend (£13,726 for 2013/14), as well as PhD tuition fees (equivalent to Home/EU applicant fee level), for three years. 

Eligibility Criteria

The ideal candidate will have (or be about to complete) a Master degree in economics or a specialisation within economics, with a substantial component in econometrics or a related quantitative subject and a good background and understanding of labour economics.

How to Apply

Online application forms and can be found by clicking the ‘Apply’ button next to Economics PhD on the application webpages to be registered in the Department of Economics and Related Studies.

Full details on the studentship and topic can be found on the Centre for Health Economics’ website.

Closing date: 14 June 2013

Shortlisted candidates can expect to be interviewed.

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