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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Economics and Social Science Models
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Economic and social factors are recognized as important for assessing the risks to health. Health also is a key element in economic and social advances.

While many of the variables reflect the need to track the relationship between economic and social relationships and health, others focus on the costs of care, and the method of payment.

Examples include:
  • Whether individuals and families are covered by health insurance and
  • The economic impact of the health care industry.

Economists, social scientists and actuaries who report these findings often work in contexts that are tangential to health—for example,
  • Health insurance coverage indicators are collected as a part of general surveys on income and poverty.
    • The March supplement to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Detailed information about these surveys and results can be found on the census website.
As such, these variables are defined in ways that reflect disciplines that are external to the direct measurement of health conditions. Yet, they provide indicators that are an important element in understanding health.
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