The Economics of Healthcare Rationing

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date


Publication Title

Oxford Handbook of US Healthcare Law


This article examines the economics of healthcare rationing. We begin with an overview of the various dimensions across which healthcare rationing operates, or at least has the potential to operate, in the first place. We then describe the types of economic analyses used in healthcare rationing decision-making, with particular reference to cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis. We also discuss healthcare rationing in practice, such as how economic analyses inform decisions regarding which services to cover, and conclude by discussing various practical and conceptual challenges that may arise with economic analyses and that span both economics and ethics.


Economics, Healthcare Rationing, Healthcare, Economic Analyses, Decision-Making, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Ethics

Publication Citation

Oxford Handbook of US Healthcare Law