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The Science of Making Better Decisions about Health: Cost-Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Louise Russell

    ()

    (Rutgers University)

Despite spending far more on medical care, Americans live shorter lives than the citizens of other high-income countries. The situation has been getting worse for at least three decades. This paper describes the main scientific methods for guiding the allocation of resources to health – cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA), sketches their methodological progress over the last several decades, and presents examples of how medical practice in other high-income countries, where people live longer, follows the priorities indicated by cost-effectiveness analysis. CEA and CBA support democratic decision-making processes, which have themselves benefited from scientific inquiry; these are touched on at the end of the paper.

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File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2014-06.pdf
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Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 201406.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 26 May 2014
Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201406
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Web page: http://economics.rutgers.edu/

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  1. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
  2. Lisa A. Robinson, 2007. "Policy Monitor How US Government Agencies Value Mortality Risk Reductions," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 283-299, Summer.
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