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Public Policy: Object of Choice or Emergent Phenomena? Learning from the Implementation of the Medical Reimbursement Act in Poland

27 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2012 Last revised: 4 Nov 2013

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College

Date Written: November 1, 2012

Abstract

The recurring implementation and continuous maintenance of price controls implies a deep incongruence between public policy and economic common sense. Yet, economists do not tire of concluding their papers with policy recommendations as if oblivious to the ineffectiveness of their efforts. By assuming that policy is an object of choice, economists have no alternative but to naively hope for a decision maker sensitive to economic logic. An alternative approach is to think of policy, not as an object of choice but as an outcome of a competitive process. From this perspective, the often-lamented disregard for economic principles is not a characteristic of a deficient policy-maker, but a systemic quality of institutional arrangements. I illustrate my argument with the analysis of the implementation of rigid prices for reimbursed pharmaceuticals in Poland.

Keywords: entangled political economy, health care, price controls, medical reimbursements

JEL Classification: B41, D78, D85, P16

Suggested Citation

Podemska-Mikluch, Marta, Public Policy: Object of Choice or Emergent Phenomena? Learning from the Implementation of the Medical Reimbursement Act in Poland (November 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2170495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2170495

Marta Podemska-Mikluch (Contact Author)

Gustavus Adolphus College ( email )

800 West College Ave.
Saint Peter, MN Mn 56082
United States
(507) 933-6120 (Phone)
(507) 933-6120 (Fax)

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