TrainingsMasterEconomicsCoursesHealth economics

Master EconomicsUE Health economics


This course proposes a balanced approach of health economics based on both theoretical and empirical considerations. It deals with the study of the main stakeholders’ economic behaviours of the health sector : patients, health professionals (physicians and hospitals), health insurance, companies producing health goods or pharmaceuticals and health authorities. It invites to reconsider some of the basic concepts in economics (supply and demand, public intervention, uncertainty, information asymmetries, incentives, etc.) and models (growth models and human capital, labour supply, etc.), for a deep understanding of the phenomena at work in the sector. Thus, the course is likely to meet the expectations from students willing to specialise in the analysis of the health sector as well as students interested in illustrations of concepts and mechanisms derived from the economic theory.

Course outline :

General introduction (2h-BV)

Part 1. Micro foundations (8h)

Chap 1 The demand for health and healthcare (4h-BV)

• Introducing health in the utility function and deriving healthcare demand : presentation of several options

• The demand for healthcare using the concept of health-capital (Grossman, 1972)

• Empirical illustration

Chap 2 Health supply (4h-AP)

• Self-employed physicians

• Modelling Quality

• Payment schemes

• Empirical illustration

Part 2. Health macroeconomics (8h)

Chap 3 Health as an economic sector (5h-AP)

• Health sector contribution to GDP and growth in France and other OECD countries

• The irresistible growth of the health sector in the economy (health as a luxury or a necessity good ?)

• Innovation in the health sector

• Empirical illustration

Chap 4 Health, development and growth (3h-BV)

• A health-augmented Solow-model

• Health and the development process, the Sachs report & the econometrics of the health/growth relationship

• The burden of diseases in Africa and the notion of “Universal Health Coverage”

• Modelling health in an macroeconomic design : epidemic traps

• Empirical illustration

Part 3. Topics (6h)

Chap 5 Public regulations in the healthcare market

• Measuring and reducing social inequalities in health (3h-BV)

Empirical illustrations

• Information asymmetries in health insurance (3h-AP)

Adverse selection in insurance companies’ plans

Moral hazard and healthcare consumption

Professional skills

  • Analytical capabilities in health economics
  • Transferring knowledge to others (non-economists)
  • Ability to combine theoretical modelling and empirical analysis
  • Identifying the appropriate estimation strategy
  • Data creation/collection, handling datasets for health economics purposes

Language used

Main language used by this course: Anglais.


  • Bras PL, de Pouvourville G, Tabuteau D. Traité d’économie et de gestion de la santé, Presses de Sciences Po, 2008
  • Culyer AJ, Newhouse JP (editors). Handbook of health economics, volumes 1A and 1B, North Holland, 2000
  • Folland S, Goodman AC, Stano M. The economics of health and health care, Pearson, 7th edition, 2013
  • Jones AM. The Elgar companion to health economics, Edward Elgar, 2006
  • Jones AM. Applied econometrics for health economists : a practical guide : Abingdon : Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2007
  • Jones AM, Rice N, Bago d’Uva T, Balia S. Applied Health Economics, Routledge, 2007
  • Pauly MV, McGuire TJ, Barros PP. Handbook of health economics, volume 2, North Holland, 2011
  • Phelps CE. Health economics, Pearson, 5th edition, 2013.
  • Sloan F, Hsieh CR. Health economics, MIT Press, 2012

Recommended prerequisites

Microeconomics 1-4, Macroeconomics 1-4, Econometrics 1&2, Methodology 2, Health and environmental economics

Structure and organisation

The course is taught by specialists in health economics involved in research projects most often implying or concerning health sector stakeholders (self-employed physicians, hospitals, DREES and DGOS of the French Health Ministry, National compulsory health insurance, complementary health insurances, regional health observatories, regional health agencies, National cancer institute, National drug safety agency, Public health research institute, etc.). It will use both theoretical modelling and search for empirical evidence backed by statistical and econometric methods.

Knowledge will be assessed with an essay, defended with an oral presentation.

Volume of teachings

  • Lectures: 24 hours

The trainings which use this course