Professor Peter Byard Davis

BA (S'ton), MSc (London), PhD

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Honorary, Academic


Peter Davis is Professor, Sociology of Health and Well-Being, at The University of Auckland. Until recently he was Senior Editor (Health Policy), Social Science and Medicine.

Peter currently holds a James Cook Fellowship funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

He is director of the COMPASS (Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences) Research Centre and has cross-appointments in the Department of Statistics and in the School of Population Health.

Research | Current

  • Sociology of health including health inequalities
  • Public policy (including health policy and health services research)
  • Research methodology, especially indicator development, statistical techniques and survey practice

For information on current projects being undertaken by the COMPASS Research Centre, please visit the COMPASS website.

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 769 Advanced Research Skills

STATS 740 Sample Surveys

Postgraduate supervision

  • (PhD Candidate) Charon Lessing: Evaluating the impact of PHARMAC's reference pricing policy on choice and health status
  • (PhD Candidate) Jo Broad: Estimating the accommodation and care needs of older New Zealanders in the later life course.
  • (PhD Candidate) Tom Robinson: Applying quasi-experimental methods to assess the impact of health service interventions in New Zealand


Director, COMPASS Research Centre

Areas of expertise

Quantitative methods in social science. Aspects of health policy (particularly quality of and access to services), and social policy (social inequality, programme evaluation). Evaluating public policy. Simulation modelling and statistical analysis. Survey practice.  

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lay-Yee, R., Milne, B., Davis, P., Pearson, J., & McLay, J. (2015). Determinants and disparities: A simulation approach to the case of child health care. Social Science and Medicine, 128, 202-211. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.025
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Barry Milne, Roy Lay-Yee, Jessica McLay
  • Pega, F., Carter, K., Kawachi, I., Davis, P., & Blakely, T. (2014). The impact of an unconditional tax credit for families on self-rated health in adults: further evidence from the cohort study of 6900 New Zealanders. Social science & medicine (1982), 108, 115-119. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.03.002
  • Davis, P. (Ed.) (2013). Data Inference in Observational Settings. SAGE Publications Limited. Pages: 1648. Related URL.
  • Davis, P., Milne, B., Parker, K., Hider, P., Lay-Yee, R., Cumming, J., & Graham, P. (2013). Efficiency, effectiveness, equity (E<sup>3</sup>). Evaluating hospital performance in three dimensions. Health Policy, 112 (1-2), 19-27. 10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.02.008
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Roy Lay-Yee, Barry Milne
  • Lay-Yee, R., Scott, A., & Davis, P. (2013). Patterns of family doctor decision making in practice context. What are the implications for medical practice variation and social disparities?. Social Science and Medicine, 76 (1), 47-56. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.003
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Roy Lay-Yee
  • Davis, P. B., McPherson, M., Wheldon, M., & von Randow, M. (2011). Monitoring Socio-demographic Risk: A Cohort Analysis of Families Using Census Micro-Data. Social Indicators Research: an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement10.1007/s11205-011-9869-7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Martin von Randow
  • Davis, P., Lay-Yee, R., & Pearson, J. (2010). Using micro-simulation to create a synthesised data set and test policy options: The case of health service effects under demographic ageing. Health Policy, 97 (2-3), 267-274. 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.05.014
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Roy Lay-Yee
  • Williams, S. J., Gabe, J., & Davis, P. B. (Eds.) (2009). Pharmaceuticals and Society: Critical Discourses and Debates. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Pages: 168.