Fiscal Policies for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Nugent R, Knaul F,. (2006). "Fiscal Policies for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention". In Jamison DT, Breman JG and Measham AR (Eds.). Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, (2nd Edition), 211-224. New York: Oxford University Press.

14 Pages Posted: 4 May 2012

See all articles by Felicia Knaul

Felicia Knaul

Harvard Global Equity Initiative; Mexican Health Foundation

Rachel Nugent

RTI International - Global Health Division

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Governments use fiscal policy to encourage healthy behavior. The instruments of government for this purpose are taxes and subsidies, and direct provision of certain health services for free or at subsidized rates. Examples of fiscal policies for health are taxes on tobacco and alcohol, subsidies on certain foods, and tax incentives for health care purchases. Government intervention through fiscal policy works best when public institutions and credibility are strong, the design and application of the fiscal instruments are appropriate, and consumers’ and producers’ responsiveness to a price signal is high. When these conditions are not present, direct provision, information and education campaigns, or legislation may be preferable in conjunction with fiscal policy.

The purpose of this chapter is to review country experiences with promoting health through fiscal policies and to examine the usefulness and success of these policies. The chapter considers both the role of fiscal policies in the production of health and the effect of these policies on the well-being of the economy — fiscal policy for health and healthy fiscal policy. Little exists in the literature linking fiscal policy and health promotion except in relation to tobacco. This work contributes to filling that gap. The chapter deals specifically with experiences at the country level with tax policies affecting some goods related to health, such as food, tobacco, alcohol, and condoms; subsidized provision of workplace promotion of healthy behavior and caregiving; and direct subsidies affecting food provision and fortification, cooking fuels, water purification and soap, condoms, bednets, vaccines, and medical research. The chapter only touches on health care provision and does not discuss its financing, either directly by governments or through insurance, because other chapters deal with those topics.

Keywords: fiscal policy, healthy behavior

Suggested Citation

Knaul, Felicia and Knaul, Felicia and Nugent, Rachel, Fiscal Policies for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (2006). Nugent R, Knaul F,. (2006). "Fiscal Policies for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention". In Jamison DT, Breman JG and Measham AR (Eds.). Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, (2nd Edition), 211-224. New York: Oxford University Press., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050662

Felicia Knaul (Contact Author)

Harvard Global Equity Initiative ( email )

FXB Building, Room 632
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
(617) 4327938 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k62597&pageid=icb.page268594

Mexican Health Foundation ( email )

Periférico sur 4809, El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
Mexico, D.F., 14610
Mexico
(52) 55 56559011 (Phone)
(52) 55 56559082 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://http//www.funsalud.org.mx

Rachel Nugent

RTI International - Global Health Division ( email )

Research Triangle Park, NC
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
149
Abstract Views
821
rank
273,124
PlumX Metrics