HP421      Half Unit
Economic Analysis for Health Policy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mylene Lagarde COW.3.02


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Health Policy. This course is available on the MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, MSc in International Health Policy and MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course will provide a broad understanding of the economic challenges faced by low and middle-income countries regarding health status of their populations and health care delivery options. It will also provide students with a strong economic framework to understand how individuals involved in health care systems (patients, providers, insurers) make decisions which affect the utilisation and delivery of health care services. The course will then provide students with an understanding of how economic concepts can help policy-makers define which policies are likely to provide adequate answers. The course will present key theoretical concepts and use empirical evidence particularly relevant for policy questions in low- and middle-income settings. The course will be very applied in nature, and students will be exposed to different types of empirical studies that have been used by (health) economists to analyse problems in health arising in Low- and Middle-Income countries.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

• define fundamental principles and concepts of health economics relevant to health policy challenges in low- and middle-income countries

• understand the economic models of decisions made by individuals on the demand- and supply-side of health care markets in low and middle-income countries;

• apply economic reasoning and models to identify problems and to recommend relevant health care policies;

• refer to seminal literature and evidence in the health economics and health policy fields in low- and middle-income countries;

• be able to interpret simple results from empirical economic studies, and formulate policy recommendations.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 3 hours of help sessions in the ST.

Ten 1.5 hour lectures and ten 1.5hour seminars, plus a three-hour revision seminar in the ST.

Formative coursework

Coursework assessed throughout the LT and mock exam.

Indicative reading

The course draws from a variety of textbooks and articles. A thorough reading list is provided at the start of term. The following papers are a selection of readings used in the course:

Banerjee, Abhijit, and Esther Duflo. "Economic Lives of the Poor." Journal of Economic Perspectives 21, no. 1 (2006): 141-167.

McPake, B, A Scott, and I Edoka. (2014). Analyzing Markets for Health Workers: Insights from Labor and Health Economics. Directions in Development. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Dupas, P., V. Hoffmann, M. Kremer and A. P. Zwane (2016). "Targeting health subsidies through a nonprice mechanism: A randomized controlled trial in Kenya." Science 353(6302): 889-895.

Lagarde, M. and D. Blaauw (2014). "Pro-social preferences and self-selection into jobs: Evidence from South African nurses." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 107, Part A: 136-152.

Currie, J., W. Lin and W. Zhang (2011). "Patient knowledge and antibiotic abuse: Evidence from an audit study in China." J Health Econ 30(5): 933-949.

Miguel, Edward, and Michael Kremer. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities." Econometrica 72, no. 1 (2004): 159-217.



Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2017/18: 26

Average class size 2017/18: 14

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT)

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