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date: 28 June 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article notes that problems of incomplete information are particularly salient in the context of mental health. It considers how different nations address economics and mental health in the formulation of mental health policy. It focuses on three key economic phenomena that are central to understanding the allocation of resources to the treatment of mental disorders. These are externalities, methods for efficient rationing of health resources, and incentives for allocating funds across different types of mental health services. This article provides some background on mental disorders and organization of mental health care in different OECD countries. It considers determination of mental health spending as part of health care rationing schemes in various nations. It discusses the role of government and how each country aligns its financing arrangements with stated policy goals of reducing reliance on institutional care for people with mental illnesses. Finally, it offers some concluding observations on mental health policy.

Keywords: mental health, economic phenomena, health care, policy goals, resources, mental disorders

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