Advanced Health Economics


Course Objective

The objective of this course is twofold: (1) to increase skills of
health economic analysis to enable the study of health policy
from an economic perspective and (2) to develop knowledge of
health economics required to understand (Dutch) health policy.

This course mainly focuses on health economics needed to optimize
healthcare system performance.
This course deals with the following issues:
- What are the goals of a health system?
- How may these goals be measured?
- Under what conditions may markets contribute to these goals?
- Why are healthcare costs growing so fast?
- What is practice variation and how may it be controlled?
- How may healthcare costs be controlled?
- What is optimal health insurance?

Upon completion of this course, the student:
1)can describe possible causes for health care expenditure rise and
appraise (create) possible policy options to bend this curve.
2)can describe possible causes of demand and supply driven practice
variation and evaluate possible options to reduce this.
3)can apply economic theory to analyze and evaluate competition in
different health (sub)markets.
4)can differentiate health systems goals, analyze and evaluate health
systems in terms of efficiency and equity in health and healthcare use.
5)can apply basic health insurance theory and appraise optimal health
insurance and compulsory health insurance coverage.

Course Content

The theoretical part of this course is largely based on the last edition
(Volume 2) of the Handbook of Health Economics. This part will be
discussed both in lectures and (computer assisted) workgroups. The
latter will be used mostly to practice specific analytic skills required
for the written exam.

For the empirical part, students will create groups to perform a
longitudinal analysis of healthcare cost development in OECD countries.
This analysis will involve the quantitative skills of the preceding
course "Care and Prevention Research" and will lead to a policy oriented
paper and a presentation.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, workshops and computerpracticals totaling 50 hours.

Method of Assessment

The final grade will be based on a written scientific policy report
(1/3) and written examination (2/3). The final grade is the weighted
average of the two marks.

Entry Requirements

(Introduction in) health economics


Handbook of Health Economics, Edited by Mark V. Pauly, Thomas G. Mcguire
and Pedro P. Barros (PDF-provided by the VU)

Target Audience

Students participating in the master Health Sciences. The course is
compulsory for students who enrolled in the specialization Policy and
Organization of Healthcare

Recommended background knowledge

Courses of the bachelor curriculum: (Introduction in) health economics

General Information

Course Code AM_470843
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator B.H. Salampessij MSc
Examiner dr. A.H.E. Koolman
Teaching Staff B.H. Salampessij MSc
dr. A.H.E. Koolman
dr. F.R.M. Portrait

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Computer lab, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: