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Putting Health in all Policies: The National Institute for Welfare Enhancement

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  • Vicente Ortún
  • Beatriz González López-Valcárcel

Abstract

Welfare is a rather vague term whose meaning depends on ideology, values and judgments. Material resources are just means to enhance people's well-being, but growth of the Gross Domestic Production is still the standard measure of the success of a society. Fortunately, recent advances in measuring social performance include health, education and other social outcomes. Because "what we measure affects what we do" it is hoped that social policies will change. The movement Health in all policies and its associated Health Impact Assessment methodology will contribute to it. The task consists of designing transversal policies that consider health and other welfare goals, the short term and long-term implications and intergenerational redistributions of resources. As long as marginal productivity on health outside the healthcare system is higher than inside it, efficiency needs cross-sectoral policies. And fairness needs them even more, because in order to reduce social inequalities in health, a wide social and political response is needed. Unless we reduce the well-documented inefficiencies in our current health care systems the welfare states will fail to consolidate and the overall economic wellbeing could be in serious trouble. In this article we sketched some policy solutions such as pricing according to net benefits of innovation and public encouragement of radical innovation besides the small type incremental and market-led innovation. We proposed an independent agency, the National Institute for Welfare Enhancement to guarantee long term fair and efficient social policies in which health plays a central role.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicente Ortún & Beatriz González López-Valcárcel, 2010. "Putting Health in all Policies: The National Institute for Welfare Enhancement," Working Papers 466, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:466
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lindbeck, Assar, 2008. "Prospects for the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 731, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    3. André Sapir, 2006. "Globalization and the Reform of European Social Models," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 369-390, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public health policies; Health Impact Assessment; welfare; Health in All Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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