HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 12(4) December 2012 : 58-62.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2013.23226
Commentary

A Tale of Two Perspectives

Pierre-Gerlier Forest

Abstract

Applications of behavioural economics to public policy are immediate and enlightening. In health policy, where we are exposed to a new fad every other month, it is not indifferent that we deal with a research program that is solidly grounded in decades of scholarship and that is supported by economic theory. Moreover, the experimental and realist bias of behavioural economics is attuned to our need for tested solutions and pragmatic improvements. Adam Oliver's paper is centred on methods that could incite people to make better, healthier lifestyle choices. But his approach can also help us formulate better regulations and smarter legislation. It can help us review the design of health organizations and care pathways. It encourages our efforts to properly use evidence and information. And finally, it forces us to examine the system of incentives and may even give someone the idea of looking at the underlying structure of power.

 

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