Health Systems Reforms: Do They Stand a Chance? Inaugural seminar organized by the Institute for Health Economics and Health Policy

12.09.2019, 16:00-17:30 o'clock – Bern University of Applied Sciences Schwarztorstrasse 48, 3007 Bern, Room 103


  • Start date 12.09.2019, 16:00-17:30 o'clock
  • Place Bern University of Applied Sciences Schwarztorstrasse 48, 3007 Bern, Room 103
  • Application deadline 31.08.2019
  • Costs No admission fee.

The point of departure of this contribution is the observation that while most major reforms of health systems fail, those that succeed are motivated by politicians’ quest for reducing the health burden on their budget in response to a shift in voters’ preferences away from public health. An Edgeworth box is used to depict their preferences, in addition to those of (potential) patients and healthcare providers. Politicians are found to severely constrain the area of mutual advantage, suggesting that only minor reforms are possible unless they promise to lower healthcare expenditure. An efficiency-enhancing change that would enlarge the box and hence the area of mutual advantage would be to suppress the requirement imposed on health insurers to purchase domestically, rather than being free to directly import healthcare services and drugs.


Prof. Dr. em. Peter Zweifel

Peter Zweifel is a Professor Emeritus of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Zurich (Switzerland). He has been a visiting professor to the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Whitwatersrand University in Johannesburg (South Africa), the African Institute of Mathematical Science in Muizenberg/Cape Town (South Africa), Curtin University and University of Western Australia in Perth, Australian National University in Canberra, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He received his M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973) in economics from the University of Zurich, followed by a stay as an honorary fellow with the Economics Department of the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Prof. Zweifel is co-author of the textbooks Health Economics, Insurance Economics, and Energy Economics and has also published more than 100 articles in refereed journals. From 1997 to 2006, he served as a member of the Swiss Antitrust Authority and from 2006 to 2010, as an advisor to the World Bank. Together with Mark Pauly (Wharton School), he is the founding editor of the International Journal of Health Economics and Management. After his retirement in 2011, he continues to do research and teaching at universities in Australia, China, and the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.