Welfare states and health policy

Course content is divided into two parts:

Part A: Welfare States and Their Public Health Policy

Part B: Comparative Analyses of Health Outcomes in Different Welfare States

The first part of the course focuses on the topic of health and wellbeing as an important feature of modern lifestyle and provides an analysis of crucial health determinants. The focus is on the interrelation between political traditions of different countries and their appropriate public and health policy. Students will be introduced to the theory and methodology of identifying ideal types of welfare states and their relative importance for (public) health policy.

The second part introduces empirical epidemiological strategies to identify main indicators of the quality of health of the population. Special focus is on the link between welfare state characteristics, economic and social inequalities, and health inequalities between different groups of the population according to socioeconomic status, education, gender, age, migration status, and ethnic and religious background. The role of health literacy in promoting better health outcomes will be analyzed.

In the third part of the course, students will be supported in starting a research analysis on the interrelation of welfare state policy traditions, public policy, public health policy, and health outcome. The analysis should include a comparative approach that encompasses at least two countries. Among other sources, OECD data banks can be used as an empirical basis.

The last part focuses on the description and analysis of political strategies of countries with different welfare policy traditions to improve the health status of the entire population and tackle health inequalities.