Professor Aki Tsuchiya

PhD (Kyoto)

Department of Economics

Population Health, School of Medicine and Population Health

Professor of Health Economics

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+44 114 222 3422

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Professor Aki Tsuchiya
Department of Economics
9 Mappin Street
S1 4DT

I came to the UK in 1998 as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York, funded as an Overseas Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. I came to the University of Sheffield and joined what was then the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR; now Division of Population Health) in 2000, where I worked as a Research Associate, a Research Fellow, and a Lecturer. Since 2005, I have held a joint appointment between the Department of Economic and ScHARR, as a Senior Lecturer, a Reader, and a Professor. 

Research interests
  • Eliciting and modelling preferences for health, and other aspects of wellbeing
  • Incorporating distributional concerns into social welfare functions
  • Normative economics of health and beyond

Current projects

  • SIPHER (System-science Informed Public Health and Economic Research for Non-communicable Disease prevention)

Journal articles


Research group

I am interested in supervising PhD students in normative issues related to resource allocation and priority setting in health and wellbeing. 

Teaching interests
  • Health economics for economists
  • Valuation of health states
  • Normative health economics

I teach health economics, which is about the application of economic concepts to matters of health, healthcare, and healthcare insurance. But, to what extent can we apply economic reasoning to matters of life and limb? Some think that whenever somebody’s life is at stake, it is unethical to think of costs or money, and thus “health” and “economics” sit very awkwardly with each other. However, if we ignore opportunity costs, then efficiency would be compromised and we would achieve less health overall. At the same time, most of us want a health care system that is not just efficient, but also equitable. Health economics enables the analysis of health care systems in the light of efficiency, equity, or both.

In health economics, there are numerous issues that involve value judgements, with no easy right answers. Should we use monetary valuation of health to analyse the efficiency of different drugs? Should health policy aim to maximise health or to maximise more general wellbeing? Should we forego any efficiency in order to improve equity in health outcomes? My approach to teaching is to encourage students to take an informed view on such issues, and then to defend these views (which may not agree with mine!).

Professional activities and memberships

Co-Chair of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (Economics)