Accessibility statement

Richard Cookson



Richard Cookson is a Professor at the Centre for Health Economics, and Co-Director of the Equity in Health Policy (Equipol) research group.  He has helped pioneer “equity-informative” methods of policy analysis, including distributional cost-effectiveness analysis; health equity indicators for healthcare quality assurance; and methods for investigating public concern for reducing health inequality; and is currently developing microsimulation methods for long-term childhood policy analysis.  He has co-chaired international working groups on equity, worked in the UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and served on various NHS advisory committees including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the NHS Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation.

Richard’s research focuses on equity in health and health care and is summarised in this 15-minute YorkTalk and his inaugural lecture

Richard runs an online short course on distributional cost-effectiveness analysis, lead edited the 2021 Oxford University Press handbook of distributional cost-effectiveness analysis, and co-founded Special Interest Groups on this topic for the International Health Economics Association in 2020 and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in 2021.  Earlier in his career, he helped set up the UK Health Equity Network in 1999, edited the public health section of the Elsevier On-Line Encyclopedia of Health Economics from 2012-14, and edited the collected works of Jonathan Bradshaw, Anthony Culyer and Alan Maynard in free e-book formats from 2010-16. 

Richard is an Honorary Public Health Academic, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. He has co-chaired various international working groups on equity; served on various NHS advisory groups including the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Technology Appraisal Committee 2002-7, the Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee 2007-9, the NHS Outcomes Framework Technical Advisory Committee 2012-16 and the NHS Advisory Committee for Resource Allocation 2017-21; and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in the Treasury in 2010. 

Richard holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a DPhil in Economics from the University of York, and an MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford. After completing his doctorate, he worked at the Centre for Health Economics (1997-8), the London School of Economics LSE Health and Social Care (1998-00), the University of East Anglia School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice (2000-6) and the University of York School for Business and Society (2006-10).



  • equity in health and health care



  • Long-Term Modelling Tools for Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing Research, UKRI, May 2023 to April 2026
  • ActEarly: a City Collaboratory approach to early life promotion of lifelong health and wellbeing, UK Prevention Research Partnership, 2019 to 2024.
  • Re-engineering health policy for fairer decisions and better health, Wellcome Trust, 2017-2024.

Recent projects

  • Accounting for Unmet Need in Equitable Healthcare Resource Allocation, NIHR, March 2020 to November 2023


Research group(s)


Current PhD students

  • Samia Abreu Oliveira, 2018- Topic: Child development and health inequality.  RC co-supervisor with Kate Picket as primary supervisor.  Registered in DOHS.
  • Arwa Abdel-Aal, 2019-. Topic: Lung cancer screening and health inequality.  RC co-supervisor with Una McCloud from HYMS as primary supervisor.  Registered in HYMS.

Former PhD students

  • Christopher Lübker, 2019-2023. Topic:  Health equity. Registered in DOHS.
  • James Love-Koh, 2013-18. Topic: Health equity.  Co-supervised with Susan Griffin from CHE, Registered in DOHS.
  • Miqdad Asaria, 2013-2016, Topic: Health equity.  Registered in DOHS. Co-supervised with Tim Doran from DOHS. Registered in DOHS (PhD by publication).
  • Laetitia Schmitt, 2011-15, Topic: Health outcomes and health inequality impacts of air pollution control. Registered in DERS.
  • Estela Capelas Barbosa, 2011-16. Topic: health care equity in Brazil. Registered in DERS.
  • Ricardo Rodrigues, 2011-15, co-supervised with Caroline Glendinning from the Social Policy Research Unit. Registered in SPSW (now School of Business and Society) 
  • Yeunsook Rho 2009-13, Registered in SWSW (now School of Business and Society) 
  • Laetitia Schmitt 2011-15 
  • Mauro Laudicella 2007-10, thesis advisor, with Andrew Jones and Nigel Rice, Registered in DERS. 
  • Shehzad Ali 2006-9, Registered in SPSW (now School of Business and Society). 
  • Robert Fleetcroft 2005-8, MD co-supervised with Amanda Howe, Norwich Medical School

External activities

Media coverage


Staff photo of Richard Cookson

Contact details

Richard Cookson
Centre for Health Economics