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Why economics is good for your health. 2004 Royal Economic Society Public Lecture

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  • Carol Propper

    (Department of Economics and CMPO, University of Bristol, UK)

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the contribution that economics can make to our understanding of key issues in health and health care. In the first part of the paper, I argue that economics can bring valuable insights into the world of over-eating and present recent economic theories that argue that the root cause of the increase in obesity lies in technological change. Technological change, in terms of the kind of work we do, the agricultural production revolution and the major cost reductions in food processing and distribution have all contributed to weight gain. This hypothesis is illustrated by data from the USA. In the second part, I argue that understanding incentives is the key to understanding the behaviour of suppliers of health care, explaining for example, why health staff 'fiddle the figures' to meet government targets and why doctors will respond to financial payments.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1024
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 987-997

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:10:p:987-997

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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References

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  1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dranove, David & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 2000. "The industrial organization of health care markets," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1093-1139 Elsevier.
  3. Propper, Carol, 1995. "Agency and incentives in the NHS internal market," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 1683-1690, June.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Croxson, B. & Propper, C. & Perkins, A., 2001. "Do doctors respond to financial incentives? UK family doctors and the GP fundholder scheme," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 375-398, February.
  6. Scott, Anthony, 2000. "Economics of general practice," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1175-1200 Elsevier.
  7. Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2003. "The Use and Usefulness of Performance Measures in the Public Sector," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK 03/073, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Sloan, Frank A., 2000. "Not-for-profit ownership and hospital behavior," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1141-1174 Elsevier.
  9. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  10. Propper, Carol & Croxson, Bronwyn & Shearer, Arran, 2002. "Waiting times for hospital admissions: the impact of GP fundholding," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 227-252, March.
  11. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 7423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Propper, Carol & Burgess, Simon & Green, Katherine, 2004. "Does competition between hospitals improve the quality of care?: Hospital death rates and the NHS internal market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1247-1272, July.
  13. Martin Gaynor & William B. Vogt, . "Antitrust and Competition in Health Care Markets," GSIA Working Papers, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business 1999-E29, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  14. Mark Dusheiko & Hugh Gravelle & Rowena Jacobs, 2004. "The effect of practice budgets on patient waiting times: allowing for selection bias," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 941-958.
  15. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:122160 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pieroni, L. & Salmasi, L., 2014. "Fast-food consumption and body weight. Evidence from the UK," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 94-105.
  2. Vincenzo Atella & Joanna Kopinska, 2011. "Body weight of Italians: the weight of Education," CEIS Research Paper, Tor Vergata University, CEIS 189, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 23 Mar 2011.
  3. Ljungvall , Åsa & Gerdtham , Ulf-G, 2009. "More equal but heavier: A longitudinal analysis of income-related obesity inequalities in an adult Swedish cohort," Working Papers, Lund University, Department of Economics 2009:3, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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