March, 2021

Public choice and public health

  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Henry Thompson

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Public choice scholars have attended only modestly to issues in public health. We expect that to change rapidly given the Covid-19 pandemic. The time therefore is ripe for taking stock of public-choice relevant scholarship that addresses issues in public health. That is what we do. Our stock-taking highlights three themes: (1) Public health regulations often are driven by private interests, not public ones. (2) The allocation of public health resources often reflects private interests, not public ones. (3) Public health policies may have perverse effects, undermining instead of promoting health-consumer welfare.