, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 99-106

A New Perspective on Economic Analysis in Health Care?: A Critical Review of 'The Economics of Health Reconsidered' by Tom Rice

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A recently published book, 'The Economics of Health Reconsidered' by Tom Rice, provides a strong critique of the role of markets in health care. Many of the issues of 'market failure' raised by Rice, however, have been, to varying extents, recognised previously in the health economics literature (at least outside the U.S.). What perhaps sets Rice's book apart from previous attempts to document such issues is its elegance and the methodical manner in which this critique is delivered. Significantly the critique is based solely on conventional economic arguments. There has, however, been an emerging strand of the health economics literature not acknowledged in Rice's book which has approached some of these issues of market failure from a different perspective. Notably this research has involved, in part, borrowing from the ideas and methodological traditions of other disciplines. The emphasis in this work has been to expand the scope and the concerns of economic analysis in health care.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.