Pricing and User Fees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article is concerned with the issue of user fees (or user charges) for public health services. The implications of user fees for cost-effectiveness, allocative efficiency, equity, progressivity of public healthcare spending, and quality of service are discussed. Each of these is a desirable end in itself, and so each is an important factor in the optimal pricing decision; however, they are not always compatible with each other. Furthermore, they all have to be financed from a single, and typically constrained, budget. Thus governments have to tradeoff over them. The theory and empirical evidence on the effects of user fees on each factor are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Health Economics
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123756787
ISBN (Print)9780123756794
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


  • Bed net
  • Chlorine
  • Demand
  • Malaria
  • Placebo-price effect
  • Preventive care
  • Price-elasticity
  • Pricing
  • Progressivity
  • Randomized trial
  • Sunk cost
  • Treatment
  • User fee


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