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Thomas Mason (BA (Hons), MSc) - personal details

Contact details

 Thomas Mason

Role: Research Associate & PhD Student in Health Economics; Teaching Assistant in Economics


Centre for Health Economics

Institute for Population Health

University of Manchester
Jean McFarlane Building
University Place
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL




Tom was awarded his BA(Hons) in Economics and Politics at Keele University in 2008. In Economics, he focused on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Health Economics and the Economics of the European Union. His studies in Politics were focused on political parties and systems of Germany, Austria, Britain and the United States of America. His undergraduate dissertation was a study of the divergent electoral performances of extreme right-wing parties in Austria and Germany since the reunification of Germany in 1990, and specifically considering the role of three key factors in determining this: the electoral/party systems; parties' electoral strategies; and inflation and regional unemployment.

After this, Tom worked for the systems firm Unisys between 2008 and 2009. His role was firstly to ensure that different types of investment and savings funds (such as hedge and pension funds) reflected the market valuation of their assets so that policyholder transactions were performed within FSA regulations, and second to design processes and controls to minimise the risk that funds might not be valued at market valuation.

Tom then obtained his MSc in Economics at the University of Manchester in 2010. His studies again focused on core economic subjects such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics in addition to others such Financial Economics, Public Economics, Time Series Analysis and Applied Econometrics.

His MSc dissertation, supervised by Professor Matt Sutton and Dr Eleonora Fichera, was an empirical study of the relationship between the alcohol consumption of parents and their children - with a particular focus on the endogeneity of parental drinking. Over ten years of cross-sectional data from the Health Survey for England were analysed using instrumental variable methods. The results were uncontroversial and showed that children consumed more alcohol if their parents did, even when accounting for the endogeneity of parental drinking and a host of other economic, demographic, social and behavioural factors.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

HESG Member (Health Economists' Study Group)

Reviewer (Social Science & Medicine)

Reviewer (Health Policy)

Teaching Assistant (Department of Economics)


MSc Economics (University of Manchester 2010)

BA(Hons) Economics & Politics (Keele University 2008)


Tom is a Research Associate and PhD Student in Health Economics, and a Teaching Assistant in Economics.

Since joining the Centre for Health Economics in October 2010, Tom has worked on a number of different projects relating to the following subject areas:


  • Workforce planning in health care: Tom worked with Professors Matt Sutton and Steve Birch and Dr William Whittaker on a research project funded by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence. His research in this area has empirically tested the assumptions contained in typical approaches to health care workforce planning and quantified the scale of the forecasting errors in current approaches using over 25 years of data from the General Household Survey and 45 years of demographic data from the Office for National Statics.


  • Health system comparison:  Tom authored a review for the Department of Health (DH) with Professor Matt Sutton, Professor Peter Smith, Dr Stephen Campbell, Dr Ruth McDonald and Dr Kath Checkland which compared purchasing/commissioning in different health systems, and considered how the incentives for NHS purchasers/commissioners were impacted by the Health and Social Care Act 2010.


  • The distributional effects of the adoption of payment-for-performance in health care: Tom has authored work looking at how care quality was distributed under the first P4P scheme introduced in NHS hospitals, specifically the distribution by income deprivation and age.


  • Developing a formula for allocating resources to local authorities for public health funding of population health services: Tom has authored reports for the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which are bodies advising the DH on the development of forumlae for allocating resources to geographical areas in health care. These reports outline the statistical work Tom has undertaken which models the Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) for MSOAs based on needs and supply variables. The modelled SMR will be developed by the DH for creating target allocations for population health services funding for local authorities.


Tom also works as the economist on the research team evaluating the Payment-by-Results for Drug Recovery (PbRDR) pilot introduced by the current government. His PhD, supervised by Professor Matt Sutton, Dr Will Whittaker and Dr Andrew Jones, is also related to this project - and is particularly focused on the following areas of study:

  • Policy evaluation methods which are geared towards solving endogenous selection into treatment
  • The impact of the policy both on payment outcomes and non-payment outcomes
  • The market for and supply of drug recovery treatment services (including competition vs. co-operation)
  • The costs of drug treatment services and their impacts on the health of service users
  • Design features of payment systems which prevent unintended provider behaviours such as cherry-picking, gaming, skimping and dumping

He has co-authored several reports (early stages and interim) in relation to the PbRDR pilot and the final evaluation is due to be authored in the near future.

Tom also teaches Econometrics (ECON20110/30370) to second and final year undergraduate Economics students.


Econometrics (ECON20110/30370)