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What Is Public Health Finance?

Public Health Finance examines the acquisition, utilization, and management of resources for the delivery of public health functions and the impact of those resources on population health and the public health system1.

Health Economics
Health economics is the study of the supply and demand of healthcare resources and the impact of healthcare on a population2.

Public Health Economics
Public health economics focuses on the study of the role of government in public health; particularly, but not exclusively, in supplying public health goods and services and addressing positive or negative externalities derived from implementing public health programs3.

Methods and Tools
Public Health Economics and Tools provides a description of the methods used by health economists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The list of tools supports improving health program efficiency and effectiveness.

A State-By-State Look at Public Health Funding
Investing in America’s Health is a report by Trust for America’s HealthExit Disclaimer that provides a state-by-state look at public health funding and key health facts in states across the U.S.   Analysis of the public health funding and disease rates finds wide variation in funding for public health and for rates of disease around the country.

For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier FutureExit Disclaimer, an Institute of Medicine report, provides recommendations for funding state and local health systems that support the needs of the public after health care reform.


1. Honore, P. A., & Amy, B. W. (2007). Public Health Finance: Fundamental Theories, Concepts and Definitions. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice , 89-92.

2. Santerre, R. E., & Neun, S. P. (2004). Health Economics: Theories, Insights, and Industry Studies (3 ed.). Mason, Ohio: Thomson South Western.

3. Carande-Kulis, V. G., Getzen, T. E., & Thacker, S. B. (2007). Public Goods and Externalities: A Research Agenda for Public Health Economics. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice , 227-232.