The Future of Health Economics
This paper discusses health economics as a behavioral science and as input into health policy and health services research. I illustrate the dual role with data on publications and citations of two leading health economics journals and three leading American health economists. Five important, relatively new topics in economics are commended to health economists who focus on economics as a behavioral science. This is followed by suggestions for health economists in their role of providing input to health policy and health services research. I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of economics, the role of values, and the potential for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. The fourth section presents reasons why I believe the strong demand for health economics will continue, and the paper concludes with a sermon addressed primarily to recent entrants to the field.