79203 - Health Economics and Policy

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Silvia Gatti

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SECS-P/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Feb 18, 2019 to May 14, 2019


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be familiar with the most important activities and objectives of the healthcare sector, with particular reference to the institutional aspects and strategic plans. In particular, the student is able to: identify the factors influencing the supply/demand dynamics of healthcare services; analyse the production of healthcare goods and services; economically evaluate the healthcare activities using appropriate evaluation methods.

Course contents

Health economics: definitions and analysis contexts. The relationships existing between the healthcare sector and the rest of the economy. Introduction to the functioning of the market. The need for health and the demand for healthcare services. Healthcare services production, supply, and market. The financing of healthcare activities. The economic evaluation of the healthcare activities.


Brenna A. (2003), Manuale di Economia Sanitaria. Per una gestione razionale delle risorse, Milan, published by CIS.

Supplementary readings will be recommended during the teaching:

Dirindin N., Vineis P. (2004), Elementi di Economia Sanitaria, Bologna, Il Mulino, cap. 2, paragrafi dall'1 al 4; cap. 4, paragrafo 4.6.

For further details on the topics of microeconomic theory analysed during the teaching:

  • Mankiw G.N. (2007), Principi di economia, Bologna, Zanichelli, capitolo 4 (Le forze di mercato della domanda e dell'offerta), il capitolo 5 (L'elasticita' e le sue applicazioni), il capitolo 13 (I costi di produzione) e il capitolo 14 (Le imprese in un mercato concorrenziale).


  • Goolsbee A., Levitt S., Syverson C. (2014), Microeconomia, Bologna, Zanichelli (parts reported during the teaching and indicated in the course materials).

Heckman J.J. (2012), The Developmental Origin of Health, Health Economics, 21: 24-29.

Banerjee A.V., Duflo E., Glennerster R., Kothari D. (2010), Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunisation campaigns with and without incentives, British Medical Journal, 2010;340:doi:10.1136/bmj.c2220.

Doran T., Fullwood C., Gravelle H., Reeves D., Kontopantelis E., Hiroeh U., and Roland M. (2006), Pay-for-Performance Programs in Family Practices in the United Kingdom, New England Journal of Medicine, 2006;355:375-84.

Gillam S.J., Siriwardena A.N., Steel N.(2012), Pay-for-Performance in the United Kingdom: Impact of the Quality and Outcomes Framework—A Systematic Review, Annals of Family Medicine, September/October 2012 10:461-468.

Ministero della Salute (2017), Programmazione sanitaria e LEA, http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/temi/p2_4.jsp?lingua=italiano&tema=Piani, finanziamenti e monitoraggio del SSN&area=programmazioneSanitariaLea, Last access July 2, 2018.

Ministero della Salute (2013), Ricoveri ospedalieri (SDO), Il sistema DRG, http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/temi/p2_6.jsp?lingua=italiano&id=1349&area=ricoveriOspedalieri&menu=vuoto, Last access July 2, 2018.

Further readings:

On the Utility:

Dolan P., Kahneman D. (2008), Interpretations of Utility and Their Implications for Valuation of Health, The Economic Journal, 118, (January), 215-234.

On Equity and Discrimination:

Costa G. (2014), Promuovere equità di salute e di sanità in Italia, in L'equità nella salute in Italia (eds. Costa G. et alii), Milano, Franco Angeli Editore, 13-42.

Ashenfelter O., Oaxaca R. (1987), The Economics of Discrimination: Economists Enter the Courtroom, American Economic Review, vol. 77, n.2, May, pp. 321-25.

On Taxation:

Gruber J. (2018), Scienza delle Finanze, Milan, published by Egea.


Teaching methods

The students are required to prepare two papers : the first (by group) prepared during the teaching and presented in the classroom, the second (individual) prepared for the examination and presented there.

The evaluation of the paper will be made on three elements:
1. Correctness of the theoretical notions on the topic of the paper (up to 9 points out of 30)
2. Detection capabilities of the explanatory variables, identification of relevant data, the ability to interpret the data and make an organized comment on them (up to 15 points out of 30)
3. Compliance with the requirements for the preparation of the paper sent to students by email (up to 6 points out of 30)

Assessment methods

Oral exam, in addition to the evaluation of the papers written during the course.

Weights for the final evaluation:
First paper: 30%
Second paper: 35%

Oral exam (which will be carried out throughout all the program excluding the first part "Macroeconomic" of the first essay and excluding the theme of the second paper): 35%

N.B. Students who do not attend the course have to prepare a paper on track of a broad topic agreed with the professor, according to the rules of preparation of the dissertation, and take the oral examination on the whole program. In this case, for the final evaluation the dissertation and the oral examination will have equal weight (50% and 50%).

Teaching tools

Lessons taught in front of the class and computer lab exercises.

Office hours

See the website of Silvia Gatti