The Consumer as Producer of Health

Topics:
(1) The Consumer as Producer of Health
(2) Health Behaviors: The Good, the Bad, and the Costly
(3) Community, Workplace, and Policy Prescriptions for Improving Health and
Lowering Costs
Lesson Objectives:
(1) To identify and describe key inputs to a consumer’s health production function.
(2) To apply an economic framework for understanding why individuals invest in
health ‘goods’ (e.g., physical activity) and health ‘bads’ (e.g.,smoking and poor
eating behaviors)
(3) To understand the effects of community-based and workplace interventions for
improving individuals’ health and to consider the business case for such
interventions.
(4) To assess the effectiveness of policy prescriptions for altering health behaviors.
Readings:
FGS 5, 7, 24
Finkelstein, E. C. Ruhm, and Costa, “Economic consequences and causes of obesity,”
Annual Review of Public Health, 2005, 26: 239-257.
Cawley, J. “An economic framework for understanding physical activity and eating
behaviors.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2004, 27(3) Supplement, 117-125.
*Sloan, F. and J. Trogdon. “The Impact of the Master Settlement Agreement on Cigarette
Consumption.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 23(4): 843-855.
Supplemental Resources:
Tu, H. and R. Mayrell. “Employer Wellness Initiatives Grow, but Effectiveness Varies
Widely.” National Institute of Health Care Reform Issue Brief, 2012.
Goetzel, “The Health and Productivity Cost Burden of the “Top 10” Physical and Mental
Health Conditions Affecting Six Large U.S. Employers in 1999,” Journal of Occupational
and Environmental Medicine,” 2003, 45(1): 5-14.
5
Andreyeva et al. “The Impact of Food Prices on Consumption: A Systematic Review of
Research on the Price Elasticity of Demand for Food.” American Journal of Public Health,
2010, 100(2): 216-222.

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