Matthew Sutton
  • Room 4.310, Jean McFarlane Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


Matt is a Professor of Health Economics and joint-lead of the Health Organisation, Policy and Economics (HOPE) research group


Matt obtained a first class honours degree in Economics with Econometrics from the University of Leeds in 1990 and an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York in 1991. 

Matt joined the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York as a Research Fellow in 1991 and worked on a series of projects for government agencies on the economics of addiction. In 1995 he was a National Drug Strategy Fellow based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. In 1996 he had a visiting fellowship to the University of Malmo in Sweden.

Matt returned to the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York in 1996 as a Research Fellow in the new National Primary Care Research and Development Centre. In 1999 he left York to take up a secondment at the Scottish Executive as an Economic Adviser where he worked on the 'Arbuthnott' resource allocation formula and inequalities in health.

In 2000 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow in the Department of General Practice & Primary Care at the University of Glasgow where he lead a programme of research using linked survey, population and NHS administrative data. He simultaneously held a part-time appointment in the Information Services Division of NHS National Services Scotland.

He was appointed Professor of Health Economics by the University of Aberdeen in 2004 and was Director of the Behaviour, Performance and Organisation of Care Programme in the Health Economics Research Unit. He joined The University of Manchester as Professor of Health Economics in April 2008.  

Research interests

Matt's research addresses the financing and organisation of health care, the healthcare workforce and influences on health and health behaviours. It primarily involves the development and application of micro-econometric techniques. 

Governments use both financial and non-financial incentives to improve the performance of health care providers. Contracts that link provider payments to activity, quality indicators and/or outcomes are becoming increasingly widespread. Matt's research examines the intended and unintended consequences of the introduction of these payment systems, including their effects on the distributions of activity, quality and outcomes across population and provider characteristics. 

Needs-based funding formulae are used in many countries to distribute available resources fairly between health care organisations. In the UK, these formulae influence the shares of the NHS budget that are allocated to local geographical organisations. Over 15 years, Matt has undertaken research that has underpinned the resource allocation formulae used in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Recruitment and retention of a high quality workforce is key to the delivery of health services. Matt's research on the healthcare workforce considers how contracts and working conditions influence job satisfaction and productivity, and what methodological approaches should be taken to planning the size and shape of the future workforce.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

NIHR Senior Investigator (2016-2019, 2020-)

Member of the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (2017-)

Associate Editor of Health Economics (2007-)

Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (2018-2020)

Deputy Chair of the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Programme Board (2017-2021)

Member of the European Health Economics Association (EuHEA) Executive Committee (2014-2020)

Member of the Department of Health Policy Research Programme Commissioning Panel (2014-2018)

Member of the NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research Programme Board (2012-2017)

Member of NIHR Research Methods Fellowships Panel (2012-2018)

Joint National Organiser of the UK Health Economists' Study Group (2010-2018)

Member of the MRC College of Experts (2005-2010)

Member of Advisory Group for the Review of General Medical Services Contract, Audit Scotland (2007-2008)

Member of NHSScotland Resource Allocation Committee (2005-2007)

Member of UK General Medical Services Formula Review Group (2004-2006)

Methodological knowledge

Health Economics, Econometrics, Non-experimental programme evaluation techniques


BA Economics with Econometrics (Leeds), MSc Health Economics (York), PhD Economics (York)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Adjunct Professor, Monash University

1 Jan 2023 → …

Honorary Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne

1 Jan 2022 → …

Professorial Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

1 Feb 201831 Dec 2021

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • R Medicine (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Creative Manchester
  • Global inequalities
  • Healthier Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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