Individual Decisions for Health

Individual Decisions for Health

Individual Decisions for Health

Individual Decisions for Health


This work poses the important question of whether economic theory can be developed to explain why people engage in activities that are obviously a danger to their long-term health.


This volume contains a selection of the papers presented at the 19th Arne Ryde Symposium - Individual Decisions for Health - held on 27-28 August 1999 at the Lund University, School of Economics and Management. During two beautiful summer days, some 70 economists met to discuss 23 papers in this rapidly expanding area of international health economics research. I want to thank all the participants for their contributions to the lively discussions that took place during the sessions. Special thanks are due to the appointed discussants. Together with selected peer reviewers they also helped to improve the papers of this volume by way of constructive criticism, for which I (and the authors) are most grateful.

I also wish to express my gratitude to the Arne Ryde Foundation for financing the Symposium. Arne Ryde was a promising doctoral student in Economics at Lund University, when he died after a road traffic accident in spring 1968 he was only 23 years old. In his memory, his parents Valborg and Sven Ryde established the Arne Ryde Foundation for the advancement of economic research at Lund University. Since 1973, the Foundation has generously supported international symposia, workshops, and lectures in pure theory as well as in a number of different areas of applied economic research.

Several people have contributed to the planning and realization of the Symposium and of this volume: Björn Thalberg (Chairman of the Board of the Arne Ryde Foundation), Carl Hampus Lyttkens, Katarina Steen Carlsson, Ingemar Ståhl, and Lars Söderström as members of the organizing committee; Kristian Bolin as assistant editor during the process of producing the final manuscript; and Inger Lindgren as administrative assistant during the whole process from the planning stages of the Symposium to the completion of this publication. Heartfelt thanks to you all!

Björn Lindgren

Lund, December 2001

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