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

Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care

Kenneth Arrow's seminal article, “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care,” (1963) is thought to have launched modern health economics as an interesting and respectable field. This volume, written to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of that first article, reflects on two ideas Arrow's article discussed (1) the idea that medical markets could be brought within the realm of standard economic models of competition, and (2) the idea that atypical institutional arrangements in medical care markets are a reaction to special features like asymmetrical consumer information and include concepts like trust and morals.

Several notable economists, lawyers, politicians and health policy experts analyze his ideas, contrasting their implications then and now in the current health care environment and propose suggestions about where to go from here. This collection of essays is supplemented by a new article by Arrow himself, in which he discusses health care markets in the 21st century.

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