Health, Government, and Irving Fisher

19 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 1998 Last revised: 7 May 2000

See all articles by Victor R. Fuchs

Victor R. Fuchs

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 1998


This paper provides a few historical notes on government involvement in health, followed by a summary of the theoretical arguments that economists offer in its support. Irving Fisher's views and recommendations about health are examined in the light of today's perceptions concerning health, health economics, and health policy. The wide variety of roles that the U.S. and other governments currently play in health is reviewed and the ability of economics to explain these roles is assessed. The consequences of government involvement for the health of populations, for expenditures on health care, and for political and social stability are examined. The paper concludes with an overview of new worldwide trends in health policy and some probable explanations for these trends.

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Victor R., Health, Government, and Irving Fisher (August 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6710. Available at SSRN:

Victor R. Fuchs (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics