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The impact of Economics on health policy and management in Spain




Background Despite the intrinsic value of scientific disciplines, such as Economics, it is appropriate to gauge the impact of its applications on social welfare, or at least –Health Economics’ (HE) case- its influence on health policy and management. Methods The three relevant features of knowledge (production, diffusion and application) are analyzed, more from an ‘emic’ perspective –the one used in Anthropology relying on the experience of the members of a culture- than from an ‘etic’ approach seated on material descriptions and dubious statistics. Results The soundness of the principles and results of HE depends on its disciplinary foundations, whereas its relevance –than does not imply translation into practice- is more linked with the problems studied. Important contributions from Economics to the health sphere are recorded. HE in Spain ranks seventh in the world despite the relatively minor HE contents of its clinical and health services research journals. HE has in Spain more presence than influence, having failed to impregnate sufficiently the daily events. Conclusions HE knowledge required by a politician, a health manager or a clinician is rather limited; the main impact of HE could be to develop their intuition and awareness.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicente Ortún & Ricard Meneu de Guillerna, 2006. "The impact of Economics on health policy and management in Spain," Working Papers, Research Center on Health and Economics 978, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfses:978

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Puig-Junoy, Jaume, 2004. "Incentives and pharmaceutical reimbursement reforms in Spain," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 149-165, February.
    2. Van de ven, Wynand P.M.M. & Ellis, Randall P., 2000. "Risk adjustment in competitive health plan markets," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 755-845 Elsevier.
    3. Lamers, Leida M. & van Vliet, Rene C. J. A., 2004. "The Pharmacy-based Cost Group model: validating and adjusting the classification of medications for chronic conditions to the Dutch situation," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 113-121, April.
    4. Coulson, N. Edward & Stuart, Bruce, 1992. "Persistence in the use of pharmaceuticals by the elderly : Evidence from annual claims," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 315-328, October.
    5. Arlene Ash & Randall P. Ellis & Gregory Pope & John Ayanian & David Bates & Helen Burstin & Lisa Iezzoni & Elizabeth McKay & Wei Yu, 2000. "Using Diagnoses to Describe Populations and Predict Costs," Papers 0099, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
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    More about this item


    Health Economics; Health Policy and Management; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy


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