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Towards an alternative economics of health care

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  • HODGSON, GEOFFREY M.

Abstract

It is argued here that an economics centred on subjective utility-maximization is unsuitable for the analysis and policy grounding of health care provision. To some extent, the peculiarities of health care have been recognized by mainstream health economists, who sometimes abandon Paretian welfare considerations to focus on needs instead. This article examines important peculiarities of health care that are relatively neglected in the literature. Some of these concern health care needs: while health itself is a universal need, needs for health care provision are largely involuntary, varied, and idiosyncratic. These issues have important consequences for the planning of health care systems and the extent of transaction costs in any market-based system. These factors, combined with the inherent dynamism of modern health care needs and capabilities, create an opening for alternative approaches to health care economics.

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  • Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 2009. "Towards an alternative economics of health care," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 99-114, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:hecopl:v:4:y:2009:i:01:p:99-114_00
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    1. Kaestner, R. & Joyce, T. & Racine, A., 2001. "Medicaid eligibility and the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations for children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 305-313, January.
    2. Kristine A. Lykens & Paul A. Jargowsky, 2002. "Medicaid matters: children's health and medicaid eligibility expansions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 219-238.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    4. Dahlberg, Matz & Lundin, Douglas, 2005. "Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?," Working Paper Series 2005:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte, 2005. "Anti-depressants, suicide, and drug regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 249-272.
    6. Kaestner, Robert & Dubay, Lisa & Kenney, Genevieve, 2005. "Managed care and infant health: an evaluation of Medicaid in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 1815-1833, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Batifoulier & John Latsis & Jacques Merchiers, 2010. "Les priorités de la prise en charge financière des soins. Une approche par la philosophie du besoin," EconomiX Working Papers 2010-2, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

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