ECON338-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Health Economics Overview

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


An application of microeconomic and empirical tools to the study of health and medical care. The topics covered will include market failures arising from asymmetric information, the demand for and production of health, provision of health insurance, and government involvement in the medical care system.

“The strongest impression from reconsidering the question of whether medical care is different from other market goods is that medical care appears considerably less different […] than it did ten years ago. To put it bluntly, medical care is now more ‘commercial’… But an important difference – perhaps the most important difference – remaining between medical care and other goods is the disquietude many people feel, or think they should feel, about this ‘commercialims’.”
(Pauly, JHPPL 1988)
“If analysts misinterpret economic theory as applied to health – by assuming that market forces are necessarily superior to alternative policies, and that other tools of the trade neatly translate to health care – then they will blind themselves to policy options that might actually be best at enhancing social welfare, many of which simply do not fall out of the conventional, demand-driven competitive model.”
(Rice, JHPPL 1997)
ECON338 focuses on the application of microeconomic and empirical tools to the study of health and medical care. A solid knowledge of intermediate-level microeconomic theory (a pass in ECON207) is a pre-requisite.
The topics covered include the differences between health care markets and other markets (with a special emphasis on imperfect and asymmetric information), the demand for health and medical care services (derived demand for health care, supplier-induced demand etc.), the production of health and the economic explanations for the behaviour of medical care providers (incentives of different payment mechanisms, regulation of entry, cost-containment strategies), and issues surrounding the provision of health insurance (adverse selection and moral hazard in particular). The course also considers the role of and economic justification for government involvement in the medical care system and encourages students to think critically about health care decisions and policies.

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of the course are to teach you how to employ microeconomic theory to understand and analyse health care markets.


Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 15:00 - 17:00 F1 Lectorial
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 12:00 - 13:00 Karl Popper 612
22 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
02 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 Jack Erskine 340
22 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Course Coordinator

Andrea Menclova


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Midterm test 40%
Essay 20%
Final exam 40%

The ‘45% rule’ does not apply to this course. That is, student does not need to reach 45% weighted average across invigilated assessments. Please refer to for further information.

Assessment in Te Reo Māori
In recognising that Te Reo Māori is an official language of New Zealand, the University provides for students who may wish to use Te Reo Māori in their assessment. If you intend to submit your work in Te Reo Māori you are required to do the following:

Read the Assessment in Te Reo Māori Policy and ensure that you meet the conditions set out in the policy. This includes, but is not limited to, informing the Course Coordinator 1) no later than 10 working days after the commencement of the course that you wish to use Te Reo Māori and 2) at least 15 working days before each assessment due date that you wish to use Te Reo Māori.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Folland, Sherman , Goodman, Allen C., Stano, Miron; The economics of health and health care ; Eight edition; Routledge, 2017.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $893.00

International fee $4,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Department of Economics and Finance .

All ECON338 Occurrences

  • ECON338-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024