Prof. Joffre Swait visits ESHPM: A focus on human decision making and choice behavior


Prof. Swait visited ESHPM from 23 April up until 9 May. ESHPM recently formalized its relationship with Prof. Joffre Swait by bringing him on board through a Visiting Professorship. He will visit Rotterdam twice a year through 2021, for periods of 2-3 weeks each time.

His activities at ESHPM include mentoring PhD students of the research group Health Technology Assessment (HTA), both in conceptualization and execution of choice-related research projects; assisting established researchers by being a sounding board for new ideas and directions. He will also provide resources for econometric modelling of discrete choice data, and co-author methodological papers related to choice topics that arise during the course of these engagements with ESHPM researchers.

His current research interests that overlap with ESHPM researchers include models of goal-directed choice, group and household choice, and the impacts of risk and uncertainty on decision processes. Given his background and research in human decision making, it is expected that his association will help advance and leverage the agenda of the Research Excellence Initiative (REI) – Erasmus Choice Modelling Centre (ECMC), and the Erasmus Initiative (EI) – Smarter Choice for Better Health.


Prof. Swait received formal training in transportation demand estimation through the Transportation Systems Division PhD program at MIT (1984). His emphasis during his doctoral program was in the econometrics of discrete choice models, at the time an active area of investigation by several well-known researchers, among them Daniel McFadden who went on to receive a Nobel prize in economics for his work in this area. Subsequently, Prof. Swait made a career change into marketing and market research, working for many years as a consultant dealing with policy problems in transport, marketing, environment and health. In 2008 Prof. Swait returned to academia in marketing (U Alberta), moved to the Centre for the Study of Choice in Sydney (U Technology Sydney) and eventually went on to be the research lead at the Institute for Choice at the University of South Australia. He left that position in July 2018 to return to the United States, where he lives on the East Coast.