1st Edition

Markets vs Public Health Systems Perspectives from the Austrian School of Economics

By Łukasz Jasiński Copyright 2022
    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    108 Pages
    by Routledge

    Problems related to the functioning of public healthcare systems encourage the search for alternative solutions, for example to ensure improved access to medical services. However, these proposals also require appropriate theoretical support to better present and apply them. This book draws on Austrian Economics to provide a theoretical framework to support greater involvement of the private sector to improve inefficiencies in public healthcare.

    The Austrian School of Economics has a solid theoretical output describing and explaining the functioning of many aspects of the market economy (e.g. money, prices, interest rate, or capital). This work applies those principles to a market-based healthcare system and its individual elements, including health insurance. The study in these chapters is divided into two parts. The first part contains the theoretical aspects of the functioning of a complete market system. Particular importance is placed on presenting health insurance as a market institution and exploring its role in the market system. This examination also includes an analysis of alternative forms of financing access to medical services, such as direct payments, medical savings accounts, medical subscriptions, and charity. Additionally, solid counterarguments are provided for so-called market failures: asymmetric information, public goods, and monopolies. The second part of the book explores the theoretical aspects of interventionism and the functioning of public systems, and aims to better highlight the sources of the associated problems.

    This work provides an important contribution to the literature on health economics, healthcare management and policy, and Austrian Economics more broadly. It is essential reading for health economists and those holding key public positions related to healthcare.

    Winner of the Award of the President of the Lublin Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences for Humanities and Social Sciences for books published in 2021



    1. Insurance as a market institution  
    2. Alternative market forms of financing access to medical services  
    3. The health system as an element of the market economy


    4. Interventionism in the health system

    5. A universal (public) health system



    Łukasz Jasiński is an economist and researcher at the Faculty of Economics of the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (Poland, Lublin).

    "Łukasz Jasiński explains flawed public health systems and presents the merits of a genuine market approach. A major innovation is his elaboration of health insurance from an Austrian School perspective."

    – Robert P. Murphy, economist and co-author of The Primal Prescription: Surviving the "Sick Care" Sinkhole

    "Austrian Economics is a perspective and a methodology that takes the "dismal" out of the so-called "dismal science." More rigorously than any other school of thought, it brings Economics alive with insights about human action, markets, incentives, prices and production. Łukasz Jasiński’s analysis of an issue important to all of us—our health care—is greatly enhanced by his application of the Austrian framework. Anyone who desires to improve health care for everyone should start by reading this book. Your life may someday depend on it."

    -Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus, Foundation for Economic Education--Atlanta, Georgia, USA