SA4M6      Half Unit
Economic Analysis for Health Policy

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Elias Mossialos COW.4.08


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Health. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course will serve as an introduction to major developments in the economics of health and health care. It will provide medical practitioners with a strong understanding of the role economics can play in health policy and health system administration. It will provide a framework with which to understand the changing nature of health care supply and deliver y and the interactions between patients and health care systems.  It will review major changes in the financing and deliver y of health care and both domestic and international efforts to control health care costs and improve efficiency.

By the end of this course, students will:

  • understand complex interactions between health care delivery, insurance markets, governments, business organizations, and then health of populations;
  • be comfortable applying economic reasoning and models to analyse health care policies and markets;
  • be familiar with the seminal and most recent literature and evidence in the health economics and health policy fields;
  • obtain a deep understanding of a particular health policy problem through independent research;
  • be familiar with the ongoing debates around the role of prices, markets, competition and the state in the financing and delivery of health care.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 3 hours of help sessions in the ST.

Ten one hour lectures and five two hour seminars, plus a three-hour revision seminar in the ST.

Formative coursework

5 Response papers to each set of readings in preparation for each seminar

Indicative reading

Pauly M. The Economics of Moral Hazard, American Economic Review, June 1968 58(3), Coupled with Gladwell M. The Moral Hazard Myth. The Bad Idea behind our Failed health-care System []

Manning W et al, Health Insurance and the demand for medical care: evidence from a randomized experiment, American Economic Review, June 1987, pp. 251-277.

Summers L. Some simple economics of mandated benefits, American Economic Review May, 1989.

Thomson S et al. Financing Health Care in the European Union, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, 2009.

Skinner JS, Chandra A, Goodman DC, Fisher ES. The elusive connection between health care spending and quality. Health Affairs 2009;28(1):w119–23. Coupled with Gawande A. The cost conundrum, The New Yorker, 1 June 2009.

Currie J. Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Socioeconomic status, poor health in childhood, and human capital development, Journal of Economic Literature, 2009;47(1):87–122.

Stabile M, Thomson S et al. Containing health care costs in high-income countries: evidence from four nations, Health Affairs 2013;32(4):643–652.

Cutler D. Your Money or Your Life, Oxford University Press, 2005.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills