SA4M6E      Half Unit
Economic Analysis for Health Policy

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Elias Mossialos COW.4.08

Professor Elias Mossialos and Teacher to be appointed. 


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences. 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.

Topics will include the following:

Lecture 1: Introduction to the role of economics in health and health care

Lecture 2: The Demand for Medical Care, The Role of Moral Hazard in Health Care

Lecture 3. Prices, Insurance and Consumer Behaviour

Lecture 4. The role of the state in providing health care

Lecture 5.  Financing Health Care Going Forward: How is the world paying for health care?

Lecture 6: Determinants of Individual and Population Health

Lecture 7. Physician Behaviour and Reimbursement. Supplier Induced Demand

Lecture 8. The Pharmaceutical Industry

Lecture 9:  Technological Change, Quality, and Innovation in Health Care

Lecture 10: Equity, Efficiency and Need

Seminar sessions will focus on current policy debates in the area of health and health care drawing on the theory and evidence from the lectures augmented by current readings from both academic and popular sources.


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Student presentations to be held on the final day of class, with each student's topic of their presentation to form the basis of their essay. 

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.

A selection of articles from the popular press by high quality journalists and public intellectuals on policy issues in health and health care.


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

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