The COVID-19 pandemic has seen intense focus on the trade-offs between public health measures and the economic consequences of those measures. Policymakers, those who advise them, as well as the media at large, have repeatedly returned to the question with… Read More »Is there a role for economic evaluation in a pandemic?
Health and the Economy
Global expenditure patterns and their determinants; pub-
lic expenditure and health care; health in macro models; health and the trade cycle; health and labor force productivity; health and growth; health and economic development; health and employment/unemployment; health and social security; health, savings and investment; health and foreign trade; health and innovation/entrepreneurship.
Many economists expressed disbelief after glancing at recent economic statistics. Since the arrival of the virus and the subsequent lockdowns we have observed a never-before-seen decline in production and consumption. In the UK alone, millions of jobs are at risk… Read More »It’s the virus, stupid!
I don’t do back of the envelope calculations, largely because the harm of a bad estimate can be worse than the harm of no estimate. A rough guess will be biased in ways we cannot possibly predict. This is acutely… Read More »Flattening the curve on the back of an envelope
The Irrelevance of Inference was a seminal paper published by Karl Claxton in 1999. In it he outlines a stochastic decision making approach to the evaluation of health technologies. A key point that he makes is that we need only to examine… Read More »The irrelevance of inference: (almost) 20 years on is it still irrelevant?
In the early years of the coalition government, David Cameron lauded the measurement of happiness and well-being as an indicator of national performance. Data on life satisfaction have been collected and published by the Office for National Statistics every year since… Read More »Well-being and gross national happiness for policy
“Health is bad for you. That’s what many economists believe.” Richard Horton’s anti-economics strikes again.
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the venerable medical journal the Lancet, is no stranger to bad economics. In 2012 and 2013, he stoked the ire of economists worldwide with a series of ill-informed tweets. These included gems such as: Economics, second only to… Read More »“Health is bad for you. That’s what many economists believe.” Richard Horton’s anti-economics strikes again.
How do economic conditions affect a person’s health? We can think of three major mechanisms that researchers examine. Firstly, the absolute effect of wealth or income that affects your access to health-influencing goods and services such as healthcare, good… Read More »Economic conditions and the health of babies. You won’t believe what the literature says!
Newly published research from Chris Bojke and co-authors estimates productivity growth in the NHS from 1998/1999 to 2013/2014. Total output of the NHS comprises both the volume of various services and their quality while inputs are approximated by total expenditure.… Read More »You won’t believe what these NHS productivity statistics mean for health policy!
Enrico Fermi was a physicist well known for his ability to make good approximations to difficult questions. A well-known Fermi problem is ‘how many piano tuners are there in Chicago?’ Answering these sorts of questions involves using estimates of simpler quantities that,… Read More »Fermi problems and public health