Health Economics

Theme 1: Estimating friction cost period for measuring productivity costs

Principal Investigator: Dr. Arthur E. Attema, PhD

Introduction: Conducting economic evaluations taking a societal perspective, it is important that all relevant costs are included. A societal perspective commonly includes productivity costs, namely costs due to absence from work and presenteeism. Productivity costs are usually valued using one of the following methods: Human Capital Approach (HCA) and Friction Cost Method (FCM). Applying the HCA all potential lost productivity is included, while in the FCM costs are limited to the period necessary to replace the unproductive person, the so called ‘friction cost period’ (FKP). Currently, there is a lack of accurate information and tools to apply the FKM method internationally.

Objective: The aim of this study is to estimate FKP for several European countries to enhance feasibility of applying the FKM for estimating the productivity costs. Furthermore, we aim to develop guidelines to estimate the productivity costs according to the FKM.

Requirements: S/he should possess demonstrated potential as an outstanding researcher and have a clear interest in the topic. The student should take initiative, be able to work independently as well as to function in a team.

What we offer: The opportunity to work in a highly motivated and skilled research team at of the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) to conduct a research master thesis.

Theme 2: Modelling the cost-effectiveness of treatment and prevention of chronic diseases

Principal Investigator: Dr. Pieter H.M. van Baal

In most countries, non-communicable diseases have taken over infectious diseases as the most important causes of death. Many non-communicable diseases which were previously lethal diseases have become chronic, and this has changed the healthcare landscape in terms of treatment and prevention options. Currently, a large part of health care spending is targeted at curing and caring for the elderly, who have multiple chronic diseases. In order to make efficient use of scarce health care resource one ideally needs to compare the cost effectiveness of different interventions aiming to treat and prevent chronic diseases. To assess the cost effectiveness of such interventions, simulation models are used that integrate information from various data sources. At the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management there is room for two research master students who would like to work on modelling the cost-effectiveness of self-management interventions which is part of a large EU-funded project. For more details on this project see: