There is a growing awareness of cross-border issues in health that require new policy responses and financing mechanisms. This expanding importance of health as an international issue, and the growth in attention given to health by non-health sector bodies, has brought to prominence the concept of Global Public Goods (GPGs) as applied to health: 'goods' that are in the interest of the world as a whole, but where 'public good' attributes (non excludability and non rivalry in consumption) mean that there is a lack of incentive to produce these goods.
The book addresses the growing globalism of health from the unique perspective of the economic concept of public goods. This concept identifies where a 'good' or service, such as knowledge of an infectious disease outbreak which would be of benefit globally, will not be produced if left to 'the market' because of a lack of incentive due principally to not being able to exlude people from using the good. in this case the producer, of the information on disease outbreak for example, cannot charge a price and therefore cannot recoup production expenses. Nationally, the production of these goods is usually assured by government intervention, but at the global level there is no 'global government' to undertake this role. The Global Public Good concept therefore extends the economic analysis of public goods to this international level. In this book we consider specifically the aspects of health that may be classed as Global Public Goods and considers how the concept helps to ensure their provision.