Medical Decision Making - A Health Economic Perspective

Lecturer(s): Prof. Stefan Felder, Prof. Mathias Kifmann
Location: Basel


In this course, we present the theory of medical decision making from a health economics perspective. In the first part of the course, the focus is on prescriptive theory. We combine informative test theory with the expected utility hypothesis to derive thresholds for treatment decision under diagnostic and therapeutic risk. Furthermore, the cost of treatment is incorporated in the analysis. In the second part, principle-agent models will be presented which are concerned with the implementation of optimal medical decision making in the presence of asymmetric information. The focus is on financial incentives which give proper incentives to use diagnostic tests and to provide adequate treatment.


  • To give students understanding of key issues in medical decision making
  • To familiarize students with beneficial and detrimental effects of tests and treatments on patient utility and their implications on medical decision making
  • To make students competent in principle-agent models concerned with medical decision making
  • To motivate students to conduct their own research in the area of medical decision making


Local Coordinator: Stefan Meyer

Tuition fee

Registration (see course list)

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