Photo of Prof Carol PropperProfessor Carol Propper

Does Competition in Healthcare Work?


4:45pm, Monday 21 November 2016

Lecture Theatre 7
The Diamond
The University of Sheffield

The Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield welcomed Professor Carol Propper from Imperial College London to give the 2016 Knoop Lecture - the department's annual public lecture.

The title of the lecture was Does competition in healthcare work?

Introducing competition in healthcare is a popular reform, adopted by many governments around the world, with the UK government introducing several waves of pro-competitive reforms to the NHS. The lecture will examine the arguments for implementing these types of reform and examine evidence from the NHS in England as to whether they have delivered gains to the public and the tax payer.

Carol Propper is a Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School and has researched and published extensively in the area of the effects of incentives on the quality of health care delivery. She has been a professional economist before moving into research and has been a Senior Economic Advisor to the NHS Executive. In 2010 she was awarded a CBE for her research into public economics and economics of health care.

Download the lecture slides 'Does Competition in Healthcare Work?


Carol's research interests focus on the impact of incentives on the quality of health care delivery and health system productivity and, more widely, on the design and consequences of incentives within the public sector and the boundary between the state and private markets.

She was Senior Economic Advisor to NHS Executive on Regulation of the NHS Internal Market 1993-4, Co-Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion at London School of Economics between 1997-2007 and Co-Director and Director of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol between 1998-2009. She has undertaken a wide range of public service activities including the Chair of the ESRC research grants board 2005-2009 and a member of the ESRC Council.

In 2010 Carol was awarded a CBE for her services to social science. The accolade recognises Carol’s research into public economics and economics of health care as well as her work with colleagues from other social science and medical disciplines. In 2014 she was elected as a fellow of the British Academy.

Her research has been published in a wide number of leading economics journals. In 2010 Carol and co-author John Van Reenan were awarded the International Health Economics Association Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics worldwide for their paper "Can Pay Regulation Kill?" JPE 118(21):222-273.

In 2016 Carol and co-authors Professor Martin Gaynor (Carnegie Mellon University) and Dr Rodrigo Morreo Serra (formerly University of Sheffield, now University of York) were awarded the American Economic Association Prize for the best paper published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy in 2012-15.