PhD Student – Health beliefs and behaviors (1,0 fte)

PhD Student – Health beliefs and behaviors (1,0 fte)

Published Deadline Location
28 Oct 30 Nov Rotterdam

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Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) invites applications for a fully- funded, four-year PhD position in the Health Economics research group.

Job description

We are recruiting a PhD candidate to research health and welfare effects of biased health beliefs and incomplete insurance markets. You will investigate how behavioral biases and constraints on the instruments available to deal with health and financial risks affect health-related decision-making. Ideally, individuals would choose lifestyles and health care to optimize lifetime welfare. And they would optimally adjust work, saving, and other economic behaviors to their health. In practice, lack of full information, behavioral biases, and institutional constraints on borrowing and insurance against health and related financial risks limits ability to achieve optimal health-related welfare. Although the existence of these biases and constraints is well documented, there is still much to be discovered about how they affect decisions concerning investment in health and economic outcomes that are contingent on health, and the consequences for welfare.

There is considerable freedom to choose specific topics that fall within this general theme. Topics may include longevity expectations and retirement behavior, health beliefs and health behaviors, socioeconomic differences in health beliefs,  interaction between (social) insurance and health investment, and dependence of consumption utility on health. We will combine administrative data providing information on health care use, income, and work for the entire Dutch population with survey data on specific aspects of health and behavior. The intention is to go beyond identification of biases and constraints to quantification of effects on decision making and welfare.

You will be in the Health Economics section of the ESHPM under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Owen O’Donnell (ESHPM, Erasmus School of Economics) and Dr. Bram Wouterse. In addition to writing scientific articles, you will have opportunities to take courses, make a research visit abroad, and to liaise with policymakers. The Health Economics section at ESHPM collaborates extensively with the respective section at Erasmus School of Economics through joint research projects, seminars, and PhD student workshops. The position enables you to quickly establish a broad network in health economics.

Finally, you will teach in the ESHPM education program (about 15% of your time).


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


You are expected to have a master’s degree in economics, health economics or econometrics. The position requires advanced quantitative analytical skills. Therefore, you need to have experience with quantitative research using a standard statistical software package (e.g. Stata or R). Moreover, you must have excellent English communication and writing skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: The initial contract will be for a 1.5 year position, which will be  extended to 4 years subject to satifactory performance.

We offer a full-time position as PhD student at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). The initial contract will be for a 1.5 year position, which will be  extended to 4 years subject to satifactory performance. Remuneration will be according to the PhD scales set by the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (cao NU), and will range from € 2.434 per month in the first year to € 3.111 per month in the fourth year (gross amounts, in case of fulltime employment). Fulltime is considered to be 38 hours per week. In addition, EUR pays an 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year payment of 8.3% and offers excellent secondary benefits, and a very generous leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave, fully paid extended birth leave for partners, a personal education budget, work-life balance coaches and more. Employees can also use EUR facilities, such as the Erasmus sports center and the University library.

The starting date will be determined together with the candidate.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam is an internationally oriented university with a strong social focus in its education and research. Inspired by the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam, our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global social challenges. Our mission is therefore "Creating positive societal impact". Our academic education is intensive, active and application oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR ranks amongst the top European universities. Erasmian values function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded.


Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management is responsible for a bachelors and three (international) master programs on health policy, economics and management, serving more than 1300 students. ESHPM is a multidisciplinary school with research focusing on three main themes: ‘competition and regulation in healthcare’; ‘quality and efficiency in healthcare’; and ‘healthcare management’. The position is offered in the Health Economics group.


  • PhD
  • Economics; Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • ESHPM-20211028


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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