AØKA08079U Health Economics

Volume 2014/2015
MSc in Economics

Overview of health care systems and peculiarities of the Danish Health Care sector, understanding “health” as an economic concept and empirical insights, health insurance markets and heterogeneity in risk, medical insurance and health care use, health care providers and incentives, and pharmaceutical markets.

Learning Outcome

The course in Health Economics aims to provide the student with solid knowledge about a wide range of health economic models and applications. The student is presented to health policy, public health economics, peculiarities in markets for health care services, health insurance, and regulation of pharmaceutical markets.
As an applied micro course, the student sees how fundamental issues in often complex health economic problems and dilemmas can be analyzed using the toolbox of the undergraduate level micro courses.

The scope of the course is both theoretical and empirical, and closely related to practical problems in health care production, administration and social insurance. The course therefore provides the student with a good foundation for administrative and analytical positions in various organizations in the health care sector.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to analyze specific health economic issues, from the perspective of an economic model. For successful completion of the course, the student demonstrates a reasonable insight into the underlying economic issues in the health care sector, is able to draw on basic modeling frameworks in analyzing such problems, and presents a discussion of these issues in a fairly clear and organized way and relate it to empirical findings. The very good student demonstrates a deep understanding of the theoretical models presented in the course, and is able to connect, combine or adapt general ideas and concepts to specific health economic problems under consideration.


Health Economics, Jay Bhattacharya, Timothy Hyde and Peter Tu. Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal articles:

Arrow (1963) “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care” American Economic Review 53(5): 941-973

Grossman, M. (2000): The human capital model of the demand for health. In A.J. Culyer and J.P. Newhouse (eds.):  Handbook of Health Economics, Vol. 1A, chapter 7, p. 347-408.

Cutler, DM and Lleras-Muney A. Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence. In RF Schoeni, JS House, G Kaplan and H Pollack (Eds.): Making Americans Healthier: Social and Economics Policy as Health Policy, New York: Russell Sage Foundation 2008. Published as NBER: http:/​/​www.nber.org/​papers/​w12352.

Almond, D and Currie, J, Human Capital development before age five, Handbook of Labor Economics vol 4b. 2010.

Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976) “Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information” Quarterly Journal of Economics 90 (4): 629-649

Cutler, D., Finkelstein, A. and McGarry, K. ” Preference Heterogeneity and Insurance Markets: Explaining a Puzzle of Insurance”,  American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 2008, 98:2, 157–162

Almond, D and Currie, J, ”Killing me softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis”, Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 25, Number 3—Summer 2011—Pages 153–172

Notes on the Danish health care system.

BA in Economics or similar.
3 hours of lectures per week for 14 weeks.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 161
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
A 3 hours written assignment taking place at Peter Bangs Vej 36.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
100 % censurship
Exam period
Will be updated before the start of the semester
Same as ordinary. But if only a few students have registered for the re-exam, the exam might change to an oral exams with a synopsis to be handed in. This means that the examination date also will change.
Criteria for exam assesment

The Student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course.