From Reform to Relativism: A History of Economists and Health Care (pages 297–336)

During the first half of this century economists who studied health care were primarily concerned with reducing the financial burden of illness and making services more accessible. In recent decades, “scholarly research” by professional economists has become characterized by the exchange of social advocacy for scientific neutrality. Historical analysis of the assumptions underlying this shift-assumptions about the worth of resources and alternative ways to allocate resources-shows parallel changes in other social sciences and medicine. As commitment to reform is tempered by relativism, scientific inquiry may benefit at the cost of social justice.

Author(s): Daniel M. Fox

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Volume 57, Issue 3 (pages 297–336)
Published in 1979