The Case for Valuing Non-Health and Indirect Benefits

In Ole F. Norheim, Ezekiel J. Emanuel & Joseph Millum (eds.), Global Health Priority-Setting: Beyond Cost-Effectiveness. New York, NY, USA: pp. 207-222 (2020)
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Abstract
Health policy is only one part of social policy. Although spending administered by the health sector constitutes a sizeable fraction of total state spending in most countries, other sectors such as education and transportation also represent major portions of national budgets. Additionally, though health is one important aspect of economic and social activity, people pursue many other goals in their social and economic lives. Similarly, direct benefits—those that are immediate results of health policy choices—are only a small portion of the overall impact of health policy. This chapter considers what weight health policy should give to its “spill-over effects,” namely non-health and indirect benefits.
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