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Health, Government, and Irving Fisher

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  • Victor R. Fuchs

Abstract

This paper provides a few historical notes on government involvement in health, followed by a summary of the theoretical arguments that economists offer in its support. Irving Fisher's views and recommendations about health are examined in the light of today's perceptions concerning health, health economics, and health policy. The wide variety of roles that the U.S. and other governments currently play in health is reviewed and the ability of economics to explain these roles is assessed. The consequences of government involvement for the health of populations, for expenditures on health care, and for political and social stability are examined. The paper concludes with an overview of new worldwide trends in health policy and some probable explanations for these trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor R. Fuchs, 1998. "Health, Government, and Irving Fisher," NBER Working Papers 6710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6710
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6710.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McClellan, Mark & Skinner, Jonathan, 2006. "The incidence of Medicare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 257-276, January.
    2. Paul Resnick & Christopher Avery & Richard Zeckhauser, 1999. "The Market for Evaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 564-584, June.
    3. Thurow, Lester C, 1974. "Cash Versus In-Kind Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 190-195, May.
    4. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Government Intervention in the Markets for Education and Health Care: How and Why?," NBER Chapters,in: Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America, pages 277-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Craig William Perry & Harvey S. Rosen, 2001. "The Self-Employed are Less Likely to Have Health Insurance Than Wage Earners. So What?," NBER Working Papers 8316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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