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Individual Rights and Duties in Health Policy


  • Gilberto Muraro
  • Vincenzo Rebba

    () (Dipartimento di Economia, Universita' di Padova, AIES and CRIEP)


A growing body of thought in the literature and the policy debate is calling for eligibility criteria and funding methods in healthcare to be predicated on individual responsibility. To date this approach has had no tangible impact on public health systems: the choice adopted is to avoid discrimination in access to health services, while instead emphasising public intervention intended to influence behaviour. As regards forms of intervention, we observe the expansion of the standard instruments: mandatory rules, information, education, subsidies and taxes. However, a new approach is also emerging. This is labelled «libertarian paternalism» to indicate that it pursues an acceptable compromise between the corrective objective and respect for the freedom of individual choice. We argue that this road should be pursued cautiously, with prior assessment and ex-post evaluation of the impact of intervention designed to affect individual behaviour, through an appropriate adaptation of the traditional criteria of cost-effectiveness analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilberto Muraro & Vincenzo Rebba, 2010. "Individual Rights and Duties in Health Policy," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 379-396.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2010:v:118:i:3:p:379-396

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Rebba & Dino Rizzi, 2011. "Waiting Times and Cost Sharing for a Public Health Care Service with a Private Alternative: A Multi-agent Approach," Working Papers 2011_18, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. repec:eee:ecanpo:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:47-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0828-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Martina Celidoni & Vincenzo Rebba, 2015. "Healthier lifestyles after retirement in Europe? Evidence from SHARE," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0201, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item


    Individual behaviour; individual responsibility; health promotion; libertarian paternalism; cost-effectiveness analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health


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