Professor Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker
Postal address:
Glasgow Caledonian University
70 Cowcaddens Road
United Kingdom

Research interests

Rachel Baker is Professor of Health Economics in the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University.  She has a BA in Economics and Social Policy and a PhD from Newcastle University.

Rachel’s research focusses on the use of mixed methods to elicit societal values with respect to health care resource allocation. Given a fixed budget, the health system faces difficult choices about which treatments and services to fund and, by implication, which will not be funded. Whilst measurement of the costs and benefits of different technologies is crucial to such decisions, there are also implications for the distribution of resources across members of society, and so-called efficient choices may not always be regarded as equitable. 

In her doctoral work, funded by the UK Medical Research Council, Rachel applied Q methodology and qualitative methods to economic theories of rationality in the context of health and lifestyle choices. Her Post Doctoral Fellowship was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and included 3 months as a visiting researcher at the University of Calgary, Canada. Rachel used Q methodology to investigate societal perspectives about the principles underlying health care resource allocation as part of national and international research projects investigating the social value of quality-adjusted life years, led by Professor Cam Donaldson (UK Social Value of a QALY and EuroVaQ). She has expertise in the use of health economic approaches to valuation and preference elicitation including Willingness to Pay, Standard Gamble and Person Trade off techniques. 

In collaboration with colleagues at GCU, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rachel led a 3 year research project funded by the Medical Research Council (2011-2014) to investigate societal perspectives on the relative value of life-extending treatments for people with terminal illnesses. This builds on work developing Q survey methods to investigate the distribution of views identified in large respondent samples. Rachel is involved, as co-investigator, in a study of QALY weights and end of life (EQWEL), in work on microfinance and health (FinWell), and on social enterprise and health (CommonHealth). 

Rachel is a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for Ethics and Society (early career awards) and, from 2012-2016 served on the Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research Advisory Committee for the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office. She is Past President of the International Q methodology Society. 

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