Professor Jennifer Roberts

Department of Economics

Professor of Economics

Jennifer Roberts profile
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+44 114 222 3403

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Professor Jennifer Roberts
Department of Economics
Room 518
9 Mappin Street
S1 4DT

Jenny studied Social Sciences (Economics) at Bristol Polytechnic, graduating in 1987. She gained an MSc (1988) and a PhD (1993) in Economics from the University of Leeds and was appointed Lecturer in Economics at the University of Leeds in 1990. She moved to the University of Sheffield in that role in 1994. 

In 1997 Jenny took up a lectureship in health economics at the School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR) here in Sheffield, being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001 and Reader in 2003. In 2004 Jenny joined the Department of Economics as Professor. 

Jenny has recently led a project on health and work for the Health Foundation and is currently collaborating with Mark Bryan on a project for the Nuffield Foundation on the disability employment gap.

Research interests

Jenny's research interests centre on applied microeconometrics, particularly the interaction of health and labour market outcomes, health-related behaviours, health valuation, the economics of well-being and travel behaviours.

She developed the SF-6D preference-based health valuation index with John Brazier (ScHARR); this has been widely adopted for health care evaluation by pharma companies and health decision making bodies around the world.

The original journal article was awarded the International Society for Quality of Life prize for the best article on quality of life research in 2002 and it has been cited over 1700 times.

Jenny is interested in supervising PhD students in applied microeconometrics, especially those with topics that are in line with the research interests described here.


Journal articles


  • Brazier J, Roberts J & Rowen D (2012) Methods for developing preference-based measures of health, The Elgar Companion to Health Economics: Second Edition (pp. 395-405). RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

I currently teach a session on Daniel Kahneman the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Classical and Contemporary Thinkers in Economics. I try to illustrate economic theory with real-world examples from recent news stories.

I also use pictures a lot in my presentations, not just for entertainment value, but also because there is good evidence that as a learning tool we recall pictures more readily than words.

As my research interests include behavioural economics (using ideas from psychology to more fully understand economic decision making), I have introduced these ideas into my teaching.

This contrasts homo economicus (the fully informed, rational, utility-maximising individual) with homo sapiens (human beings who exhibit systematic errors in decision making such as time inconsistency, loss aversion and susceptibility to framing effects

  • ECN109 Classical and Contemporary Thinkers in Economics