Imperial College London

Imperial contributes to new report by President Macron’s economic Commission


Professor Dame Carol Propper

Professor Dame Carol Propper is one of the authors of a new report which looks at how to tackle climate change, inequality and ageing populations.

The new report, which looks at the three biggest long-term challenges facing the world’s economies, has been released by French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic commission.   

Professor Dame Carol Propper, Chair in Economics at Imperial College Business School and member of the Centre Health Economics & Policy Innovation (CHEPI), was one of a select number of economists appointed to Macron’s expert commission on major post-coronavirus economic challenges in June 2020.

Her work on the report examines demographic change with regards to ageing, health and immigration. Along with Axel Börsch-Supan, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich and Claudia Diehl, Professor at the Munk School of the University of Konstanz, Professor Propper looked at how to achieve a balance between employment and retirement, the modernisation of the pension system and other ways to support older members of the population.

"Whilst it focuses on France, many of its diagnoses and prescriptions are applicable to leading economies across the world.” Professor Dame Carol Propper Business School

Professor Propper said: “The report – commissioned by President Macron himself from world leading economists – offers solutions to address three grand economic challenges. Whilst it focuses on France, many of its diagnoses and prescriptions are applicable to leading economies across the world.”

Professor Propper’s contribution, entitled “Health System Reforms to Increase Use of Preventative Care”, proposes a set of healthcare policies designed to complement the overall aim of reforming pensions. Her recommendations will impact the generation currently approaching retirement age, as well as younger people.

She argues in favour of delivering “better care for the chronically ill”, giving “greater incentives for prevention activities” and that “financial incentives for providers and consumers of health care need to be strengthened and new methods to deliver care for those with, and at risk of, chronic illnesses need to be encouraged”.

Professor Propper’s contribution, and the overall conclusions of the Commission, highlight the importance of CHEPI’s key areas of research. These include policies for preventing and mitigating the health and economic impacts of the chronic non-communicable disease epidemic, which has topped the global health policy agenda for over a decade.

The Commission has also highlighted the importance of an innovative use of the tax system in the pursuit of societal goals such as environmental sustainability, in line with a call made by CHEPI Director Franco Sassi in the Lancet at the height of the “yellow vest” crisis in France.

Professor Propper’s recommendations also include:

  • - A major extension of payments related to performance in the treatment and prevention of chronic illness;
  • - The accelerated use of payment for bundles of treatments;
  • - The creation of a predefined basket of fully insured preventative care treatments; and
  • - An increase in the delivery of preventative and chronic care remotely.

Headed by two French economists (Nobel Prize winner Jean Tirole and former IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard), the independent commission is made up of experts from several countries including France, the UK, Germany and the US. The report will be used by President Macron in his international climate work.

Professor Propper is a leading expert in health economics and, in December 2020, she was made a dame in the New Year’s Honours for her contribution to economics and public health. As well as her work at Imperial, she is President of the Royal Economic Society, a Fellow of the British Academy and an International Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Propper has been sought out by media, research institutes and governments for her expertise.

As previously noted by Le Monde, the commission reflects President Macron’s wider commitment to revising his economic doctrine. He has hinted the global pandemic could serve as an opportunity to reset the country’s economic policies and place a greater emphasis on environmental and social welfare concerns.



Evie Burrows-Taylor

Evie Burrows-Taylor
Business School


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