History of Political Economy 36:4 (2004) imagine, is constrained by the debates of which they are aware. A historical perspective, which includes not only what actually happened but also what should have happened, what almost happened, and what most emphatically did not happen, opens all kinds of new possibilities for theoretical innovation. In particular, it makes practitioners aware of parallel developments in other ï¬elds and applications, and creates the possibility that solutions emerging elsewhere may be borrowed and applied in this ï¬eld. Health economics is, for the most part, applied microeconomics. It borrows and adapts tools used elsewhere by other economists. There is, however, one area of health economics that is fundamentally unique. It develops tools used nowhere else in the discipline, to do something that most of us learned in graduate school was unnecessary and probably impossible. It measures the cardinal utility of various health states in order to construct an entity known as a âquality-adjusted life year,â or QALY. QALYs allow economists to balance morbidity and mortality, or length of life and quality of life, on a single scale. They allow the construction of league tables, so that we can measure the cost per QALY generated
History of Political Economy – Duke University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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