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Personal profile

Personal information

Dr F.R.M. Portrait (1969) obtained her PhD in econometrics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in October 2000. The title of the thesis was “Long-term care service for the Dutch elderly: an investigation into the process of utilization”. Prof. dr. Lindeboom, Prof. dr. A.H.Q.M. Merkies and Prof. dr. D. Deeg were her supervisors. She also completed a doctoral programme in economics in September 2000 at the Tinbergen Institute. Afterwards, she became a postdoc at the faculty of Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (April 2000 – April 2001). The topic of her first postdoc was “Life expectancies in specific health states of the Dutch elderly population”. From April 2000 to December 2003, she did a second postdoc at the department of Economics (0.4 fte) (Topic: “Effect of major life events on mental health at older ages”) and at LASA (Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam) (0.6 fte) (Topic: “Effect of spousal bereavement on health and mortality at older ages”). She became an assistant professor at the department of Health Sciences of the VU Amsterdam in January 2004 (until January 2014) and obtained her VU Amsterdam Teaching certificate in July 2005. She is currently working as an associate professor.


From January 2006 until December 2013, she had been involved in various research projects investigating the long-term effects of early life conditions. For instance, in van den Berg, Lindeboom, Portrait (2006) and in Yeung, van den Berg, Lindeboom, Portrait (2014), she investigated the causal links between early life conditions and individual’s (cause-specific) mortality rate, using flexible duration models estimated on data from the HSN. In van den Berg, Lindeboom, Portrait (2007), she investigated whether exposure to a nutritional shock in early life (namely the severe Dutch Potato famine of 1846-47) negatively affects longevity at older ages. Currently, she is using HSN data on siblings collected in one specific Dutch province to investigate whether the long-term effects of the 1846-47 Dutch Potato famine remain after controlling for family effects. She was also recently been awarded a NWO grant for a project entitled "Giants of the moder". A new history of heights and health in the Netherlands, 1811-1940". This is an interdisciplinary project with social historians and economists on height, health, and socioeconomic status in the Netherlands since 1811.

From 2010 until now, she has also been involved in many health economics research projects. For instance, she has published several papers on the monetary valuation of patients' time and on practice variation in the cure and care sectors.


Bachelor courses

Department of Health Sciences, VU Amsterdam

 - First-year course “Introduction in Health Economics” (6 ects, 2006-Present)

 - Third-year course “Health Economics” (6 ects, 2004-Present)

 - Pre-master course “Policy and Health Care Organization” (6 ects, 2007-Present)

 - Minor course "Economics of the Dutch Health care" (6 ects, 2016-Present)


Master courses

Department of Health Sciences, VU Amsterdam

 - Master course “Advanced Health Economics” (6 ects, 2004-Present)


Supervision experience

- Supervision traineeship >60 Master students (36 ects/student) and traineeship >60 third-year students (24 ects/student), Department of Health Sciences (2005-Present)

Participated in supervision of dr. A Llena-Nozal’s thesis entitled “On the dynamics of Health, Work, and Socioeconomic status” (date of defense: 30-03-2007) and of dr. S. Gupta entitled “The study of the impact of early life conditions on later life events: A look across the individual’s life course” (date of defense: 31-05-2010)

Currently supervising several PhD students.

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • H Social Sciences
  • Health Economics


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