Politics and Economics

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In my thesis, I argued that economics could make a 'rational input' into public policy.


An economic valuation exercise could be used to find out if people were willing to pay, for a certain amount of extra defence spending.


If a defence valuation exercise had been undertaken in the United Kingdom, on willingness to pay for the 2003 Gulf War, then there would have been the potential for a rational input into decision making.


But, the government did not ask the public, if they were willing to pay for the 2003 Gulf War.


The problem is that politics often operates in isolation from economics.


Both disciplines have suffered as a result of this separation.


Politicians, before the 2003 Gulf War, suffered due to the lack of economic consultation.


Economics too has suffered from its isolation from politics.


It is not credible for health economists to state that 'resources are scare' when monetary scarcity did not seem to apply to the 2003 Gulf War.


I suggest that policy-makers need to take a broader view which combines politics and economics.


A study on health spending would also need to consider other areas of government expenditure.


This is outlined in the following letter. 


I undertook some health economics post-doctoral research, in 2005, it was entitled Valuing health and safety for UK public policy: the Social Value of a QALY project'. 

For more information see the attachment below.


Christopher Packham,
27 Sep 2010, 16:12