Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care

Front Cover
Peter J. Hammer
Duke University Press, Dec 8, 2003 - Business & Economics - 339 pages
1 Review
DIVThis volume revisits the Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow’s classic 1963 essay “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care” in light of the many changes in American health care since its publication. Arrow’s groundbreaking piece, reprinted in full here, argued that while medicine was subject to the same models of competition and profit maximization as other industries, concepts of trust and morals also played key roles in understanding medicine as an economic institution and in balancing the asymmetrical relationship between medical providers and their patients. His conclusions about the medical profession’s failures to “insure against uncertainties” helped initiate the reevaluation of insurance as a public and private good.

Coming from diverse backgrounds—economics, law, political science, and the health care industry itself—the contributors use Arrow’s article to address a range of present-day health-policy questions. They examine everything from health insurance and technological innovation to the roles of charity, nonprofit institutions, and self-regulation in addressing medical needs. The collection concludes with a new essay by Arrow, in which he reflects on the health care markets of the new millennium. At a time when medical costs continue to rise, the ranks of the uninsured grow, and uncertainty reigns even among those with health insurance, this volume looks back at a seminal work of scholarship to provide critical guidance for the years ahead.

Contributors
Linda H. Aiken
Kenneth J. Arrow
Gloria J. Bazzoli
M. Gregg Bloche
Lawrence Casalino
Michael Chernew
Richard A. Cooper
Victor R. Fuchs
Annetine C. Gelijns
Sherry A. Glied
Deborah Haas-Wilson
Mark A. Hall
Peter J. Hammer
Clark C. Havighurst
Peter D. Jacobson
Richard Kronick
Michael L. Millenson
Jack Needleman
Richard R. Nelson
Mark V. Pauly
Mark A. Peterson
Uwe E. Reinhardt
James C. Robinson
William M. Sage
J. B. Silvers
Frank A. Sloan
Joshua Graff Zivin/div

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care

User Review  - Marks54 - Goodreads

This is a collection of scholarly essays commemorating the 40th anniversary of Arrow's seminal American Economic Review paper on health economics. Scholars who have built on this work have contributed ... Read full review

Contents

VI
37
VII
49
VIII
60
IX
71
X
84
XI
101
XII
103
XIII
111
XXI
202
XXII
213
XXIII
215
XXIV
230
XXV
243
XXVI
259
XXVII
272
XXVIII
290

XIV
134
XV
142
XVI
156
XVII
167
XVIII
169
XIX
181
XX
189
XXIX
302
XXX
319
XXXI
321
XXXII
327
XXXIII
335
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 6 - The value of information is frequently not known in any meaningful sense to the buyer; if, indeed, he knew enough to measure the value of information, he would know the information Itself. But information, in the form of skilled care, is precisely what is being bought from most physicians, and, indeed, from most professionals. The elusive character of information as a commodity suggests that It departs considerably from the usual marketability assumptions about...
Page 1 - ... the special economic problems of medical care can be explained as adaptations to the existence of uncertainty in the incidence of disease and in the efficacy of treatment.
Page 24 - If a plan guarantees to everybody a premium that corresponds to total experience but not to experience as it might be segregated by smaller subgroups, everybody is, in effect, insured against a change in his basic state of health which would lead to a reclassification.
Page 27 - I wish to repeat here what has been suggested above in several places: that the failure of the market to insure against uncertainties has created many social institutions in which the usual assumptions of the market are to some extent contradicted.
Page 26 - The general uncertainty about the prospects of medical treatment is socially handled by rigid entry requirements. These are designed to reduce the uncertainty in the mind of the consumer as to the quality of the product insofar as this is possible.
Page 7 - But it is contended here that the special structural characteristics of the medical-care market are largely attempts to overcome the lack of optimality due to the nonmarketability of the bearing of suitable risks and the imperfect marketability of information.

References to this book

About the author (2003)

DIV

Peter J. Hammer is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Deborah Haas-Wilson is Professor of Economics at Smith College.

Mark A. Peterson is Professor of Policy Studies and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Policy and Social Research.

William M. Sage is Professor at the Columbia University School of Law.

/div

Bibliographic information