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Joan Costa-Font

(United Kingdom) Professor of Health Economics London School of Economics and Political Science

Harkness Project: Partnerships and Long-Term Care Financing in Europe and the United States

Placement: Harvard School of Public Health

Mentors: Katherine Swartz, Ph.D., professor of health policy and economics, Harvard School of Public Health; and Richard Frank, Ph.D., Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Harvard Medical School

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Joan Costa-Font, Ph.D., M.Sc., a 2012-13 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, is a reader in the department of social policy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he is also an associate at both LSE Health and Social Care and the Center for Economic Performance (CEP). Costa-Font has held teaching and/or research appointments at Oxford University, the University of Barcelona, the University of Munich and the Interamerican University in Mexico. In addition, he has been a World Bank and European Commission Consultant in health policy-related projects. His research covers a broad range of topics on the political economy of health and social protection, including aging and long term care insurance, health behavior, health insurance and health care decentralization.  Costa-Font has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in more than forty different social science journals including contributions that have appeared in Health Policy, Health Economics, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, and has written more than twenty book chapters and edited five books including the "LSE Companion to Health Policy" (with Alistair McGuire) . Costa-Font has a Ph.D. in economics, and received a M.Sc. (Econ) in international health policy from the London School of Economics.

Current Project Abstract: Costa-Font will examine the sustainability of long-term care financing proposals in the U.S. post-CLASS Act, and compare them to evidence from other European countries’ programs. A particular focus will be on “partnership agreements” for financing long-term care, where state governments partner with individuals, families, communities, or companies. Costa-Font will aim to combine empirical analysis of survey data as well as published evidence in order to examine the expected effects of the reforms in the U.S. Finally, he will examine the extent to which long term care can be self-insured within the household, and the implications that self-insurance through housing and other assets will have on equity and access. As part of this analysis, he will analyze how changes in wealth associated with the economic downturn (particularly lower home values) have impacted eligibility for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage.

Career Activity Since Fellowship:

  • Associate Professor (Reader) of Political Economy, European Institute, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, 2013

Current Position: 

  • Associate Professor (Reader) of Political Economy, European Institute, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics

Email: [email protected]

Selected Publications: 

J. Costa-Font, Joan, C. Courbage, and K. Swartz. "Financing long-term care: ex-ante, ex-post or both?" Health Economics. 2015.

S. Bergquist, J. Costa-Font, J. Swartz. "Long term care partnerships: are they 'fit for purpose'?" CESifo working papers, 5155. CESifo Group, Munich, Germany. 2015.

P. Alders, Peter, J. Costa-Font, M de Klerk, and R. Frank. "What is the impact of policy differences on nursing home utilization?: the cases of Germany and the Netherlands Health Policy," 2015.