Determinants of Health

An Economic Perspective
by Michael Grossman
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Publisher: Columbia University Press

Publication Date: August 08, 2017

ISBN: 9780231544511

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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This collection of Michael Grossman’s most important papers adds essential background and depth to his work on economic determinants of public health. Each of the book’s four sections includes an introduction that contextualizes the issues and addresses the larger stakes of his work. An afterword discusses the significance of Grossman’s approach for subsequent research on health economics, as well as the work others have done to advance and extend his innovative perspective.

Determinants of Health explains how the economic choices people make influence health and health behaviors. It begins with a section on the theoretical underpinnings and empirical results of Grossman’s groundbreaking health economics model, first introduced in the 1970s, followed by essays on the relationship between health and schooling; determinants of infant health, with a special emphasis on public policies and programs; and the economics of unhealthy behaviors. Grossman treats health as a form of human capital. He shows that public policies and programs that determine the price and availability of key inputs have critical effects on outcomes ranging from birth weight and infant mortality to cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, and obesity. Grossman’s approach has led to a major stream of literature in the field, sparking contributions by the world’s leading health economists, including Joseph Newhouse, Jonathan Gruber, Amy Finkelstein, Michael Greenstone, and David Cutler. His clarity on the role that economics play in people’s good and bad health choices is immensely valuable to the debate over how we legislate and spend on health.