Possible Paper Topics
- Lately, pharmaceutical companies, such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, have adopted a strategy of buying small companies which a have a patent or a rare drug and have increased the prices of these rare drugs as much as 5000 times Why are drug companies able to do this? Evaluate the economic efficiency and equity of this practice. What are some proposed strategies for controlling pharmaceutical prices? Should the U.S. government adopt a strategy of price controls with regard to pharmaceutical prices?
- Should Canada allow a private market for kidneys to alleviate the kidney transplant shortage? Evaluate the economic efficiency of such a policy. Evaluate the equity. Is Canada’s experience likely to be the same or different from the experiences of other countries?
- The Canadian health care system is suffering from funding shortages and long wait times. Are these wait times impacting health care outcomes? Should Canada allow a greater role for private clinics or private hospitals in health care? In other words, should Canada adopt a two tiered health care system where everyone has access to a basic level of public health care but those with extra money have access to extra money or good jobs may choose to buy private health care? How has the two-tiered system worked in the United Kingdom, South African, and/or other countries? Assess efficiency and equity. How would you structure a two-tiered health care system?
- What are some provincial examples of allowing private health care clinics to supplement public care? Should Ontario allow greater access to and less regulation ofprivate health care clinics?
- Many Americans feel that their system of private health care, which is market-driven, is better than the Canadian system, which is more highly regulated and publically funded. These Americans justify their viewpoint by referring to the fact that Canadians must wait longer for cancer surgery and frequently travel to the United States for specialized medical treatment that is not provided in their own province. Is this viewpoint justified? From an economic standpoint, why might the U.S. offer more specialized treatments than Canada? Is market-based health care better? Is it equitable? (Note: this is a difficult and very broad topic It may need to be narrowed to focus only on cancer surgery, where earlier surgery may impact survival rates.)
- Should Canada adopt a tax on soft drinks as a measure to improve public health? (The economic model to use would be models of the effect of cigarette taxes or alcohol taxes on consumption. These were in your ECON 101 classes.)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and California did this recently. Who bears the burden of the tax, the consumer, the producer, or both? Is the tax effective at reducing consumption of soft drinks? Is it equitable?
- Should Canada legalize marijuana? What are the health implications of legalizing marijuana? Marijuana (THC) enters the reproductive cells; are there long term consequences for birth defects? Are there more traffic accidents when marijuana is legalized? Did car insurance premiums rise after marijuana legalization in Colorado and other states? What happens to the price of marijuana in the short run and in the long run? (You can use a basic ECON 101 model to analyze this.) Colorado experienced an initial rise and then long-run drop in the price of marijuana. Why? Should Ontario sell marijuana through a government monopoly like the LCBO?
- What would happen if Ontario removes the government LCBO monopoly on the sale of alcohol and privatizes alcohol sales like Alberta did in the 1990’s? What happens to the price of alcohol? What happens to the quantity of alcohol consumed after privatization? Were there more DUI’s or alcohol related traffic accidents after privatization in Alberta? Is having a monopoly, like the LCBO, a good idea?
- You may select a topic or choose a topic from the list of Essay Topics. A reasonable topic would be
a. A critical evaluation of a health care policy
b. A critical evaluation of a health care system (Note: it may be better to critically evaluate just one aspect of a health care system, such as the method of physician reimbursement or the amount of public funding for physician training.) This type of topic might compare and contrast characteristics and outcomes in two health care systems.
c. Economic evaluation of a proposed health care policy, i.e. a market for kidneys
- The essay needs to be a critical evaluation or argument supporting a thesis or viewpoint. For example, you might wish to argue that Canada should (or should not) adopt a market for kidneys to alleviate the shortage of kidneys available for transplant.
- You should present some background information, i.e. relevant economic models and/or examples of countries that have adopted a market for kidneys. What type of outcomes do these models suggest and/or what experience have other countries had?
- You must also present both sides of the argument if possible and USE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS to both describe and critically evaluate the arguments for and against the policy. For example, a market for kidneys is economically efficient because …. However, the market for kidneys may be not be equitable because ….
- At the end of the essay, summarize the case and state your conclusion.
- The essay must be at least 2500 words. However, essays longer than 3000 words will have the mark based on the first 3000 words only.
- You must have a minimum of six references, and at least four of the references need to be academic references from academic journals or books. (ECONLIT and JSTOR at the Kings and Western libraries provide good sources of academic economic and health economic papers.)
- You may use well-labeled diagrams and graphs to help explain your arguments. The diagrams do not count toward the words usage.
Last Updated on March 23, 2018 by EssayPro