Social determinants of health: an economic perspective

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Abstract

The World Health Organization has recently received the findings of its Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. The Commission's report offers a remarkable summary of the evidence, and makes a passionate case for government action to address the social determinants of health, especially as they relate to health inequity. This paper summarizes the ways in which economic analysis could strengthen policy under three headings: examining the causal impact of the determinants of health and of associated policies; prioritising actions; and determining the role of government in influencing behaviour. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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