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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents the economic theory of health production, which envisions health as a capital stock to education or human capital. It provides a comprehensive account of the dominating theoretical model of individual health-related behavior: the demand-for-health model. It briefly discusses some of the theoretical extensions of the model. This article provides empirical evidence with regard to the demand-for-health model, and identifies relevant areas for the success of public policy efforts in the area of health. It emphasizes the similarities between health capital and human capital and the policy implications of this relationship. This article is devoted to policy issues and begins with a theoretical discussion, which seeks to identify potential policy target-variables and the effect of those variables on individual health and health-related behavior. It ends with a discussion of future developments required.

Keywords: economic theory, health production, demand-for-health model, public policy, health capital, human capital

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