Page 829 Mark V. Pauly University of Pennsylvania Kenneth Arrowâs article made research in health economics respectable, but it did more than that. It also made it interesting. His essay was the gracious response of an already distinguished economic theorist to an invitation to write something for the Ford Foundation on the economic properties of the medical services industry. Before this article appeared in 1963, economists, even those interested in industry applications, had either steered clear of trying to understand (much less analyze) a product and an industry that appeared to depart so greatly from the competitive model, or they had written policy papers alternately justifying or condemning the differences from that model. Either perspective was largely irrelevant because medical care was âspecialâ or because economics could be applied only to show that the guild and regulatory features of this industry were the result of a long-term conspiracy by medical providers to gain monopoly rents at the expense of efï¬ciency and consumer welfare. Arrowâs article was and still is exciting, I believe, for two reasons: 1. It showed how some behaviors in medical markets could be brought within the purview of standard economic models of competing, maximizing agents.
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law – Duke University Press
Published: Oct 1, 2001
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