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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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  • Avner Offer, 2012. "A Warrant for Pain: Caveat Emptor vs. the Duty of Care in American Medicine, c. 1970-2010," Economics Series Working Papers Number 102, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:number-102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avner Offer, 2012. "Self-interest, Sympathy and the Invisible Hand : From Adam Smith to Market Liberalism," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-1, December.
    2. 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, vol. 8(3), pages 297-308, December.
    3. Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Physician-leaders and hospital performance: Is there an association?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 535-539, August.
    4. 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, number 9780199216628.
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    1. Avner Offer, 2012. "Self-interest, Sympathy and the Invisible Hand : From Adam Smith to Market Liberalism," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-1, December.

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