Health Care Analysis

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 33–51 | Cite as

Clarifying Efficiency-Equity Tradeoffs Through Explicit Criteria, With a Focus on Developing Countries

  • Chris JamesEmail author
  • Guy Carrin
  • William Savedoff
  • Piya Hanvoravongchai


Expenditures on health in many developing countries are being disproportionately spent on health services that have a low overall health impact, and that disproportionately benefit the rich. Without explicit consideration of priority setting, this situation is likely to remain unchanged: resource allocation is too often dictated by historical patterns, and maintains vested interests. This paper explores how prioritization between different health interventions can be rationalised by the use of clearly defined criteria. A number of key efficiency and equity criteria are examined, in particular analysing how potential tradeoffs could be incorporated into the decision making process.


priority setting criteria efficiency equity weighting developing countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris James
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Guy Carrin
    • 2
  • William Savedoff
    • 3
  • Piya Hanvoravongchai
    • 4
  1. 1.Health Economist, Department of Health System Financing, Expenditure and Resource AllocationWorld Health OrganizationSwitzerland
  2. 2.Senior Health Economist, Department of Health System Financing, Expenditure and Resource AllocationWorld Health OrganizationSwitzerland
  3. 3.Senior PartnerSocial InsightPortland
  4. 4.Researcher, International Health Policy ProgramMinistry of Public HealthThailand
  5. 5.Health Economist, Department of Health System Financing, Expenditure and Resource AllocationWorld Health OrganizationGenevaSwitzerland

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