Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Associate Professor, Economics
Office Hours: Officially Thursday 4:30-6:30pm, but I'm usually in at 10A Carow Hall. Email or call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.
Econ 496 Health Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 306. Determinants of Health. Supply, Demand, and Institutions of Health Insurance and Care. Evaluation of Market Failure Rationales for Regulation.Required Texts:
Shannon Brownlee, Overtreated, Bloomsbury, 2007, ISBN: 1-58234-580-5. Sample price: $19.
Joseph P. Newhouse And The Insurance Experiment Group, Free For All? Lessons from the RAND Health Insurance Experiment, Harvard University Press, 1993, ISBN: 0-674-31914-1, Sample Price $27.Reccomended Texts:
Sherman Folland, Allen C. Goodman, Miron Stano, Economics of Health and Health Care, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall Business Publishing, 2007, ISBN: 0-13-100067-5, Sample Price $158.
Charles E. Phelps, Health Economics, Addison Wesley Publishing, 2003, ISBN: 0-321-06898-X, Sample Price $145.Goal of Class
For undergraduates: To become familiar with basic facts and issues in health economics, and to be able to make an economically-coherent defense of one's opinions on health policy questions.
Defended Opinion Topics
- Class Participation Please contribute to class discussions.
- Quizzes Three In-Class Quizzes will given. All examas are open book, open notes. Each quiz will have a random question from the Browlee book.
- Defended Opinions You will turn in written defenses of your opinions on three health policy question. Here (on the web) are things to keep in mind when writing your defended opinions.
- Should we reduce medical subsidies to instead subsidize living with cleaner air: away from cities, and with better ventilation? <! Should we reduce medical subsidies to instead pay for higher scores on physical fitness tests? (Substitute Topic: Should we weigh people once a year and tax them for each pound they weigh more than a standard healthy weight for their age and gender?) Should we subsidize alcohol, instead of taxing it? Should the U.S. replace medicine subsidies with exercize subsidies? What Should Be Done About Rising Health Care Costs? >
- Shall medical tax breaks be given only for neighborhood group plans, instead of employer group plans? <! Should the U.S. adopt the following package of changes: move health insurance regulation from states to the federal level, cancel any rules requiring health plans to allow patients direct access to specialists, and only have mandated treatments for contagious conditions? Should Medicare or Medicaid let people diagnosed with a condition take a (perhaps discounted) cash equivalent, instead of medical treatment? Should the tax-exemption for medical care be limited to care approved by federal evidence-based medicine panels? Should medical advertising and information services be liberalized to allow the same variety of advertising and information services that we allow for most other kinds of products? (Substitute Topic: Should people be allowed to reimport drugs from other countries, like Canada, when those drugs are identical to drugs sold here?) Should doctors, or other health professionals, be able to prescribe placebos? Should the U.S. extend the tax ememption now given for employer provided health insurance to health insurance purchased by individuals? pay cash instead of in kind? Docs pay their own school? >
- Should we allow faith healers to charge for a) words and hands, b) drugs and devices? <! Should nurses and paramedics be allowed to compete directly with doctors in providing primary care? You may choose the last topic. Here are some a href="./Ec496/questions.html" health policy questions you might consider.>
Grade Weights: (depend on which class you enroll in)
- Quizzes: Feb 12, Mar 19, Apr 9
- Defended Opinions: Mar 19, Apr 9, Apr 30
- Final: 1:30-4:15pm, May 12
- 496: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz, 13% per Defended Opinions, 17% final.
- 895: 1/2 of grade above items (held to a higher standard), 1/2 research paper.
Week Lecture Topic Jan 22 Overview of Health Economics. Jan 27,29 What Makes Us Healthy? Feb 3 More What Makes Us Healthy? No class Thurs. <! quiz > Feb 10,12 Does Medicine Help Health? Feb 27,19 Health Externalities Feb 24,26 Medicine in Other Times and Places Mar 3,5 Demand for Health and Medicine Mar 10,12 Spring Break <! quiz, paper> Mar 17,19 Supply of Medicine Mar 24,26 Health Insurance Mar 31,Apr 2 Variation in Quality of Medicine <! quiz, paper > Apr 7,9 Licensure, Certification, and Bans Apr 14,16 Other Ways to Get Information on Quality Apr 21,23 Explaining Health Strangeness <! paper due> Apr 28,30 Slack and Review <! paper due> May 5 No Class <! paper due> May 12 Final Exam
Lecture Readings and SourcesOn the web, this links to a page of sources, most of which have links.
Disability NoticeIf you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.