Over the past few decades, health economists have made substantial contributions to our understanding of how laws, regulations and other policies can address market failures in order to improve public health. Dr. Chaloupka's monograph provides an introduction to the concepts used by economists in this research.
It begins by providing a discussion of the economic rationale for government intervention in a variety of markets where individual behaviors lead to public health consequences. It discusses policy interventions that address these market failures, beginning with demand-side approaches to promoting public health through legal interventions and emphasizing the concept of the "full price" of consumption. It also reviews legal approaches to addressing the supply side of these markets, and summarizes and provides some concluding comments.