Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

Global Public Goods for Health (GPGH)

Smith R., Beaglehole R., Woodward D., Drager N. (ed.) Global Public Goods for Health: health economics and public health perspectives. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003. 320 p.

Global Public Goods for Health addresses the growing globalization of health from the unique perspective of the economic concept of public goods. This concept identifies where a ‘good’ or service (such as knowledge of an infectious disease outbreak) which would be of benefit globally will not be produced or disseminated if left to ‘the market’, because of a lack of incentive: no-one can be excluded from accessing the good, no charge can be levied for use and no costs recouped. Nationally, the production of these goods is usually assured by government intervention, but at the global level there is no ‘global government’ to undertake this role. The global public good concept therefore extends the economic analysis of public goods to this international level. This book is specifically concerned with the aspects of health that may be classed as global public goods, and considers how knowledge about the concept should help to ensure their provision.

Hard copies of the book can be ordered from the Oxford University Press at the following address:


Related links

  • Reading companion available here
    A set of nine sessions annotated slides on the different topics covered in the book, from definitions of the Global Public Goods for Health concept to a discussion of how it applies to, and enhances the undertanding of, different health issues such as disease control (Polio, Tuberculosis) or public health infrastructure or International Health Regulations.