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Health, economics, and ancient Greek medicine

Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU (2011) In Journal of Economic Asymmetries 8. p.165-192
Abstract
A period of two and a half millennia separates us from the Classical period of ancient Greece. Nevertheless, looking at ancient Greek medicine from the perspective of modern health

economics is an interesting endeavour in that it increases our understanding of the ancient world and provides insights into contemporary society. Ancient Greece is rightly famous for pioneering

secular and scientific medicine, but equally noteworthy is the prominence of healing cults, such as

that of Asklepios. In this paper, the market for secular physicians is illuminated with tools from

modern economics, for example the concern for the physician’s reputation. The simultaneous

emergence in ancient Greece of a... (More)
A period of two and a half millennia separates us from the Classical period of ancient Greece. Nevertheless, looking at ancient Greek medicine from the perspective of modern health

economics is an interesting endeavour in that it increases our understanding of the ancient world and provides insights into contemporary society. Ancient Greece is rightly famous for pioneering

secular and scientific medicine, but equally noteworthy is the prominence of healing cults, such as

that of Asklepios. In this paper, the market for secular physicians is illuminated with tools from

modern economics, for example the concern for the physician’s reputation. The simultaneous

emergence in ancient Greece of a scientific and rational approach to medicine and the

proliferation of religious medicine provides an interesting vantage point for a study of the current

market for alternative medicine. Similar circumstances arguably lie behind the dual nature of the

health market that was present then and is still present now. The underlying mechanism in both

periods is hypothesised to be increased uncertainty in everyday life. (Less)
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
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keywords
health, economics, medicine, ancient Greece, alternative
in
Journal of Economic Asymmetries
volume
8
pages
165 - 192
publisher
Elsevier
ISSN
1703-4949
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5d938f47-19c9-4911-a402-e30524faeef1 (old id 1891085)
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/17034949
date added to LUP
2011-04-14 11:14:45
date last changed
2016-04-15 23:57:35
@article{5d938f47-19c9-4911-a402-e30524faeef1,
  abstract     = {A period of two and a half millennia separates us from the Classical period of ancient Greece. Nevertheless, looking at ancient Greek medicine from the perspective of modern health<br/><br>
economics is an interesting endeavour in that it increases our understanding of the ancient world and provides insights into contemporary society. Ancient Greece is rightly famous for pioneering<br/><br>
secular and scientific medicine, but equally noteworthy is the prominence of healing cults, such as<br/><br>
that of Asklepios. In this paper, the market for secular physicians is illuminated with tools from<br/><br>
modern economics, for example the concern for the physician’s reputation. The simultaneous<br/><br>
emergence in ancient Greece of a scientific and rational approach to medicine and the<br/><br>
proliferation of religious medicine provides an interesting vantage point for a study of the current<br/><br>
market for alternative medicine. Similar circumstances arguably lie behind the dual nature of the<br/><br>
health market that was present then and is still present now. The underlying mechanism in both<br/><br>
periods is hypothesised to be increased uncertainty in everyday life.},
  author       = {Lyttkens, Carl Hampus},
  issn         = {1703-4949},
  keyword      = {health,economics,medicine,ancient Greece,alternative},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {165--192},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Economic Asymmetries},
  title        = {Health, economics, and ancient Greek medicine},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2011},
}