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ECON306 Economics of Health and Education

The study of economic issues regarding the provision of, and demand for, health and education services.

After social welfare, health and education are the largest areas of government spending in most modern economies, including New Zealand. Together, health and education account for about 13% of New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP). This paper is about the economic analysis of the health and education sectors, with particular emphasis on government policy concerning them. Theoretical foundations and techniques of economic evaluation and decision making are also covered (useful in a wide variety of jobs when you graduate!) These over-arching subject areas afford a special opportunity for the application of a wide range of microeconomic concepts and techniques (some covered in ECON 201) to significant real-world issues, such as health-care rationing, prioritisation, the 'value of life' and 'user-pays' (i.e. student fees and student loans) in education.

Paper title Economics of Health and Education
Paper code ECON306
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $863.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,276.80

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ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Teaching staff

Professor Paul Hansen


An up-to-date course book comprising a specially-selected collection of readings from textbooks, The Economist magazine and other sources will be available on eReserve.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  1. To apply the microeconomic tools and concepts introduced in BSNS 113 / ECON 112 / ECON 201 to the topics of health and education, including contemporary policy issues.
  2. To introduce you to new microeconomics tools and concepts, as required.
  3. To equip you with the skills to be able to understand and critique economic evaluations of health care programmes and to be able to apply these skills more generally (i.e. to any economic project appraisal).
  4. In general, to encourage you to develop analytical and decision-making skills, including modest technical and quantitative proficiencies.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Friday 09:00-09:50 29, 31, 33, 37, 39, 41
T2 Friday 12:00-12:50 29, 31, 33, 37, 39, 41