The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Economic Epidemiology

  • Tomas J. Philipson
Reference work entry


The economic analysis of epidemiological issues has different implications for disease and its optimal control from those of traditional analysis of such issues. It views undesirable disease occurrence as the result of self-interested behaviour in the presence of constraints. Unlike with methods used in public health, the effects and desirability of disease-reducing public interventions are then evaluated in terms of how they improve the private behaviour essential to controlling disease. Economic epidemiology has been applied to a wide range of topics, including infectious diseases such as AIDS, and also to non-infectious behaviour such as smoking, obesity, and crime.


Economic epidemiology Health subsidy Morbidity Mortality Programme evaluation Public health Rational epidemics 

JEL Classifications

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas J. Philipson
    • 1
  1. 1.