It is one of the curious ironies of history that ideas which tend to destroy also help to rebuild. Innovative financial instruments played a key role in the 2007-2008 financial crisis that not only dented economic growth worldwide, but also… Read More »Social impact bonds: is an ounce of (bond) prevention worth more than a pound of (budgetary) cure
Public health technologies; public goods and public health; policies toward health and safety at work; health education; financing public health; public health and public behavior; interplay between public health and health care services; inter- play between public health and other sectors; economics of public health policy.
Incentives are widely and frequently used to influence preferences among people with the aim of achieving some socially beneficial end. These incentives include fines, rewards, and taxes. From the domain of health, Pigouvian taxes on foods deemed unhealthy and pricing… Read More »Incentives and social preferences
It was recently proposed that, here in the UK, foreigners should start having to pay towards their health care because of the apparent budgetary pressure from ‘health tourists’. Let’s be clear upfront; this isn’t a problem. If you believe the media, ‘health tourism’… Read More »No borders, no nations, no user charges
There have been a good number of articles to document the phenomenon of a counter-cyclical relationship between unemployment and health. As unemployment rises, deaths from a number of causes have been found to decline. These include accidents, infant mortality, heart… Read More »Is this recession good for your health?
I’m currently reading Les Mis (I have been for about 2 years – it’s half a million words long). A few months ago, Hugo described economists to me as “geologists of politics” (géologues de la politique). A pretty smart observation… Read More »Some thoughts on evidence-based policy
The current UK government is toying with the idea of introducing a minimum price for alcohol in England and Wales of around 45p per unit. However, just this week it was revealed that some senior cabinet members opposed the policy; putting… Read More »A minimum price for alcohol
The aim of a health intervention is generally to cause a cost-effective increase to some normative outcome such as by reducing mortality, increasing productivity and so forth. Often policy makers want to encourage or discourage certain behaviours by using incentives… Read More »Cannabis and asbestos: The cost-effectiveness of prohibition as health policy
What causes people to respond to incentives? From a simplistic view we may say that people just pick the option with the highest utility; everybody has a price, right? Financial incentives are often used to alter health related behaviours. In… Read More »The impact of incentives