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Professor Mauricio Avendano

Professor Mauricio Avendano

  • Visiting

Visiting Professor of Public Policy & Global Health

Research subject areas

  • Biomedical and life sciences
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Policy

Contact details


Mauricio Avendano is a Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Global Health. He is is also adjunct Associate Professor at Harvard University (T.H. Chan School of Public Health), and faculty member at the Harvard Centre of Population and Development Studies. He has held academic appointments at the London School of Economics (2011-2015), Harvard University (2008-2010) and the Erasmus Rotterdam University (2002-2011).

He has published more than 115 papers in leading international journals, and he has been awarded grants by the European Commission Horizon2020 programme, the European Research Council (ERC), the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK National Institute for Health Research, the Netherlands Research Council, the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He is also network associate of the McArthur Foundation Research Network on an Ageing Society.

Professor Avendano has received several academic excellence awards, including an ERC Starting grant (2011-2016), a Harvard David Bell Fellowship (2008-2010), a Dutch Excellence starting research ‘VENI’ grant (2006-2010), and a Dutch Excellence advanced research ‘VIDI’ grant (2010-2014). He has collaborated with academics in more than 20 countries from across the health and social sciences


Mauricio's research examines how public policies, social transformations and health systems contribute to health inequalities between and within countries. His research has shown that public policies in education, pensions, long-term care systems, health care insurance, poverty, employment and urban planning shape physical and mental health and contribute to health inequalities.

His work is interdisciplinary and at the crossroads between epidemiology and public health, economics, demography, sociology and public policy. Based on longitudinal (panel) data, his research uses quasi-experimental designs, natural experiments and randomised controlled trials to establish the causal impact of public policies.

Current projects

  • Mauricio leads the programme on Work and Welfare at King’s ESRC Centre for Society & Mental Health, where he and his colleagues examine the impact of welfare benefit and work transformations on mental health.
  • His is co-investigator in the In-Care project, working with Karen Glaser and Ludovico Carrino to examines the impact of long-term care systems on inequalities in health and long-term care use across European countries and Japan.
  • He is co-investigator in the Chances-6 project, which examines the impact of antipoverty policies on the mental health and life chances of adolescents and young people in six Low-and-Middle-Income countries in Africa and Latin America.
  • He is co-investigator on a new project funded by the Newton fund (British Council) to design and test a novel mental health intervention for young people in a human capital development programme in Colombia.
  • He is also co-PI in a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust to examine the impact of a novel programme that combines a mental health and a poverty reduction intervention for young people in South Africa, Colombia and Bangladesh.
  • He is co-PI in the ASSET project, an NIHR-funded research unit where he leads work with Ann Kelly and Nele Jensen to examine the health equity impact of interventions to strengthen health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Completed projects

  • Together with Professor Frank Van Lenthe (Erasmus University), Mauricio shared the coordination of Mindmap (2016-2020), a European Commission funded project to examine the impact of urban environments and policies on the mental health of ageing populations across 15 cities in Europe, Canada and the US.
  • He was co-PI in the Lifepath project (2015-2019), a major European consortium to understanding the causes of health inequalities in Europe.
  • He was co-PI in the WORKLONG project (2015-2019), an ESRC- European Joint Initiative project to examine the impact of changes to retirement and pension policies on health.
  • He contributed to the development of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe(SHARE), where he was involved from 2004-2010, overseeing the design of the health module.
  • He collaborated with Professor Johan Mackenbach (Erasmus MC) on several projects that used data from mortality registries and census to examine inequalities in mortality in Europe.
  • He worked with several longitudinal and birth cohort studies, including the the UK Understanding Society survey, the UK Millennium Cohort Study, the UK Birth Cohorts, the French Constances study, the US Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the Dutch Globe Study, and the English Longitudinal study of Ageing (ELSA), among others.


  • Population Ageing & Policy (7SSHM500) 
  • Social Policy and Health: International Perspectives (7SSHM622) 

PhD supervision

Mauricio is open to supervising students looking to research:

  • The impact of public policies on health
  • Social inequalities in health and the social determinants of health
  • Public Policy evaluation
  • Health inequalities in international perspective 

Current PhD supervision

  • Vahe Nafilyan (ESRC PhD scholarship). The impact of compulsory schooling laws on mental health. King’s College London, 2016-2019.
  • Marina Kousta (ESRC Centre for Society & Mental Health PhD studentship). Welfare reform, poor mental health and food bank use in the UK’. 2020-2023.
  • Jiawei Wu (King’s-China Scholarship). Social Participation and Health Outcomes of the Elderly: A Life Course Perspective and Transnational Comparison. King’s College London, 2017-2020
  • Hannah Herzig (ESRC PhD Scholarship), ‘The impact of urban policies on mental health in Europe’, King’s College London
  • Mia Hadfield-Spoor (ESRC PhD scholarship), ‘Disability and Food Bank Use in the UK’, King’s College London, 2018-2021
  • Yan Liu (King’s-China Scholarship), ‘Longitudinal associations between health behaviours and health outcomes among chronically ill elders in China’, King’s College London, 2018-2021
  • Wang Xiao (King’s-China Scholarship), ‘An Analysis of Home- and Community-Based Care in China’, King’s College London, 2018-2021
  • Lienkie Diedericks (ASSET PhD scholarship), ‘Understanding the Role of Social Determinants in Health Care Access and Pathways for Multi-Morbid Chronic Disease in South Africa and Zimbabwe’, King’s College London, 2018-2021

Completed PhD supervision

  • David Colozza. Dietary change patterns, urbanisation and health in the Global South, King’s College London, 2016-2020
  • Ramiro Guerrero. The effect of parental leave policies on employment, fertility and health in middle income countries. King’s College London, 2017-2020

Further details

See Mauricio's research profile