Health Care Analysis

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 195–210

The Individual in Mainstream Health Economics: A Case of Persona Non-grata

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10728-007-0044-x

Cite this article as:
Davis, J.B. & McMaster, R. Health Care Anal (2007) 15: 195. doi:10.1007/s10728-007-0044-x


This paper is motivated by Davis’ [14] theory of the individual in economics. Davis’ analysis is applied to health economics, where the individual is conceived as a utility maximiser, although capable of regarding others’ welfare through interdependent utility functions. Nonetheless, this provides a restrictive and flawed account, engendering a narrow and abstract conception of care grounded in Paretian value and Cartesian analytical frames. Instead, a richer account of the socially embedded individual is advocated, which employs collective intentionality analysis. This provides a sound foundation for research into an approach to health policy that promotes health as a basic human right.


Care Deontology Groups Individual Instrumental rationality Mainstream health economics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Amsterdam and Marquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK