Health Economics: Tools to Measure and Maximize Programme Impact

  • James G. Kahn
  • Daniel Mwai
  • Dhruv Kazi
  • Elliot Marseille


Kahn, Mwai, Kazi, and Marseille explain how economics brings together estimates of disease burden and the costs needed to reduce that burden so that policymakers can choose which intervention strategies will maximize health gains with available resources. The authors introduce and illustrate key health economics methods, including econometrics, cost-benefit analysis, micro-costing, behavioural economics, work force projections, financing, and discrete choice experimentation. They describe methods for calculating Disability-Adjusted Life Years, a standard summary metric that combines health losses due to mortality and morbidity, thus permitting comparison and summation across diseases and populations. The authors explain cost-effectiveness analysis, which compares health intervention costs with reductions in burden of disease, yielding the widely used Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio, and discuss the ethical underpinnings of cost-effectiveness.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. Kahn
    • 1
  • Daniel Mwai
    • 3
    • 2
  • Dhruv Kazi
    • 4
  • Elliot Marseille
    • 5
  1. 1.Institutes for Health Policy Studies and Global Health SciencesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Health Policy Plus, Palladium GroupNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Health Economics Unit, School of EconomicsUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  4. 4.Richard F. and Susan A. Center for Outcomes Research in CardiologyBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Health Strategies InternationalOaklandUSA

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