This volume revisits the Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow’s classic 1963 essay “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care” in light of the many changes in American health care since its publication. Arrow’s groundbreaking piece, reprinted in full here, argued that while medicine was subject to the same models of competition and profit maximization as other industries, concepts of trust and morals also played key roles in understanding medicine as an economic institution and in balancing the asymmetrical relationship between medical providers and their patients. His conclusions about the medical profession’s failures to “insure against uncertainties” helped initiate the reevaluation of insurance as a public and private good.
William M Sage, Peter J. Hammer, Deborah Haas-Wilson, Mark A. Peterson, Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care (Peter J. Hammer, Deborah Haas-Wilson, William M. Sage, Mark A. Peterson, Duke University Press, 2003). View Online