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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 40 No. 3 (September 2002)

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Equality, Efficiency, and Market Fundamentals: The Dynamics of International Medical-Care Reform

Article Citation

Cutler, David M. 2002. "Equality, Efficiency, and Market Fundamentals: The Dynamics of International Medical-Care Reform." Journal of Economic Literature, 40(3): 881-906.

DOI: 10.1257/002205102760273814

Abstract

Public opinion surveys uniformly show low support for medical-care systems in developed countries. The longstanding conflict between equal access to care and efficient service provision partly explains this dissatisfaction. But the trade-off is particularly acute in medical care, as new technologies developed over time have increased the cost of care and made the equity commitment even more expensive. Countries first dealt with rising costs by maintaining equal access and restricting total spending. Efficiency suffered, however. As a result, many countries are considering a move away from spending controls and toward incentive-based medical-care reform.

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Cutler, David M. (Department of Economics, Harvard University, and NBER)


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