Health Economics

Term: 
Fall
Credits: 
2.0
Course Description: 

This course gives an introduction to the field of Health Economics, which is a growing field within Microeconomics. Our focus during the course is on theoretical considerations, with linkages to health policy issues. We build on basic microeconomic models and theories, and see how those can be applied to address topics such as the demand for health and health care, or the functioning of health insurance markets. Each week we cover a different topic of Health Economics (see the course outline below), complemented with the discussion of a related recent publication from leading economic journals. This way the students become familiar not only with the key concepts of Health Economics, but also with how researchers approach these concepts. Why study Health Economics? Because the health care sector is large, large amounts of public and private money are spent on financing the health care sector, people make health related decisions every day, and these decisions involve issues such as uncertainty, time trade-off, information asymmetry, externality etc. In the sector of health care, almost unlimited patient needs are confronted with limited resources.

Learning Outcomes: 

- Students become familiar with the main aspects of Health Economics, and understand their importance.

- They learn how to apply economic concepts, and in particular, microeconoic theory to analyse problems related to Health Economics, such as the demand for and supply of health care, the demand for health insurance, and health related behaviors.

- Students understand how to link theoretical reasoning to health policy decisions.

- They improve their abilities of critical thinking, problem solving, especially through the problem sets, essay tasks and discussions during class.

Assessment: 

- Active participation (paper presentation and engagement in discussions in class): 15%

- 2 short essays (to be submitted by lectures 4 and 9, details TBA): 20%

- 2 problem sets (to be submitted by lectures 6 and 11, details TBA): 20%

- Final exam: 45%

Prerequisites: 

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