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A Warrant for Pain: Caveat Emptor vs. the Duty of Care in American Medicine, c. 1970-2010

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  • Avner Offer

Abstract

Bad ethics can make for bad economic outcome.� Bad ethics are defined hedonically as the infliction of pain on others for private advantage.� The infliction of pain is often justified by 'Just World Theories', which state that everyone gets what they deserve.� Market liberalism (and its theoretical underpinning in neoclassical economics) is one theory of this kind.� As an example, the micro and macro underperformance of the American health system c. 1970-2010 is explained in terms of the shift in policy norms from the fiduciary norm "first do no harm" to the neo-liberal market norm of "let the buyer beware" (caveat emptor) since the 1970s.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number Number 102.

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Date of creation: 02 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:number-102

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  1. Offer, Avner & Pechey, Rachel & Ulijaszek, Stanley, 2010. "Obesity under affluence varies by welfare regimes: The effect of fast food, insecurity, and inequality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 297-308, December.
  2. Avner Offer, 2012. "Self-interest, Sympathy and the Invisible Hand: From Adam Smith to Market Liberalism," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford _101, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Offer, Avner, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216628, October.
  4. Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Physician-Leaders and Hospital Performance: Is There an Association?," IZA Discussion Papers 5830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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