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Welfarist and Non-Welfarist Conceptions of \"Health Promotion”


  • Luke Connelly


Although \"health promotion\" programs account for only a small proportion of health spending in OECD countries (OECD, 2000), their components (anti-smoking, pro-exercise and vaccination campaigns, for example) are often highly visible instruments of health policy. Furthermore, the case for increased spending on such programs is likely to intensify if evidence of (i) their effectiveness; and (ii) diminishing returns to spending on other categories of health services (e.g., curative and acute medical services), grows. Economists\' contributions to the literatures on, inter alia, (i) rational addiction; (ii) (licit and illicit) drug use; (iii) health production; and (iv) health sector economic evaluation; are pertinent to this health sub-sector. However, no integrated economic conception of the field of health promotion has been produced. This paper provides such an account: the instruments and targets of health promotion are analysed in an integrated framework by drawing on concepts from the public economics and health economics literatures. The analyses emphasise the material differences in welfare outcomes that can arise, depending on whether the objective of a health promotion program is to maximise welfare, or to pursue another, e.g. health-stock, objective.

Suggested Citation

  • Luke Connelly, 2002. "Welfarist and Non-Welfarist Conceptions of \"Health Promotion”," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 104, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Alarmist Decisions with Divergent Risk Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1657-1670, November.
    2. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, March.
    3. Allen C. Goodman & Miron Stano & John M. Tilford, 1999. "Household Production of Health Investment: Analysis and Applications," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 791-806, April.
    4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-1269, December.
    5. Culyer, A J, 1989. "The Normative Economics of Health Care Finance and Provision," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 34-58, Spring.
    6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    7. Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 577-588, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kathleen Goffey & Andrew Worthington, 2002. "Motor Vehicle Usage Patterns in Australia: A Comparative Analysis of Driver, Vehicle & Purpose Characteristics for Household & Freight Travel," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 117, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

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    economic analysis; health promotion; welfare.;


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