This is an introductory course to the field of health economics, a rapidly growing field of applied economics. Economic concepts such as scarcity, incentives, marginal analysis, profit-maximization and cost-minimization will be used throughout this course. It first begins with production of health capital, demand-and-supply analysis of health and medical care and production of health. It then discusses the importance of asymmetric information (adverse selection, moral hazard) in insurance markets. Other topics covered include behaviors of key players (physicians, hospitals, pharmaceuticals) in the health care sector, the role of government in the provision of health care, and issues in health care system reform. Finally, this course discusses health policy debates in developing countries.
The objective of this course is to gain understanding of basic concepts of economics of health and health care. By the end of the course, students will be equipped to evaluate current health care policy issues from an economic perspective.