Advancing medical and pharmaceutical technology has allowed us to lengthen human life spans and reduce suffering, but has also increased the health sector's use of scarce economic resources. Health economics studies the evaluation techniques and institutional arrangements that can be employed to promote efficient use of health resources and to control aggregate health care costs, as well as the social policy objective of guaranteeing that sick people have access to needed health care regardless of ability to pay.

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Keywords Adverse selection, Agency theory, Communicable versus noncommunicable disease, Cost-utility analysis, Cream skimming, Drug patents, Health insurance, HMOs see health maintenance organizations, Managed care, Medical savings accounts, Moral hazard, QALYs see quality-adjusted life years, Selective contracting, State-contingent markets
Persistent URL
Blomqvist, Å. (2015). Health Economics. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (pp. 614–619). doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.71050-6