Article

Concepts of Equity and Fairness in Health and Health Care

Jan Abel Olsen

in The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199238828
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199238828.013.0034

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

 Concepts of Equity and Fairness in Health and Health Care

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  • Health, Education, and Welfare
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This article describes the various concepts of equity and fairness that have been developed by economists in health and health care. It begins with a background framework on the principal causes of inequalities in health and health care. It is concerned with equity issues and theories of distributive justice being integrated into health economic models. The discussion of “paradigm of the health frontier” brings equity and efficiency together. It enquires what the key question of equality in terms of stream of health is and is concerned with the equality of opportunities or equality of outcomes. This issue is strongly related to the intricate issue of “personal responsibility.” The renewed interest in the literature on the distinction between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes, as well as in the notion of responsibility, represents an attempt to clarify the reasons why one type of inequality can be labeled fair, while another be unfair. Finally, the article draws some implications.

Keywords: equity; fairness; health care; health economic models; inequality

Article.  10106 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare ; Public Economics

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