Health Care Analysis

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 203–215

Vertical Equity in Health Care Resource Allocation


  • Gavin Mooney
    • Social and Public Health Economics Research Group (SPHERe), Department of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of Sydney

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009439917796

Cite this article as:
Mooney, G. Health Care Analysis (2000) 8: 203. doi:10.1023/A:1009439917796


This paper introduces this mini-series on verticalequity in health care. It reflects on the fact that byand large equity policies in health care have failedand that there is a need for positive discriminationto promote equity better in future. This positivediscrimination is examined under the heading of`vertical equity'.The paper considers Varian's notion of `envy' as abasis for equity in health care but concludes thatthis is not a helpful route to go down. Better itwould seem to pursue the idea from Sen of `freedoms'and `communitarian claims' (as raised previously bythis author). While it is argued that proceduraljustice is to be preferred in the longer run as abasis for equity there are gains in adopting a shortrun goal of promoting distributive justice. Somepreliminary evidence is presented on the weighting ofhealth gains to reflect such vertical equityconcerns.

distributive justice envy health care procedural justice resource allocation vertical equity

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000