Understanding the Economics of Investments in the Social Determinants of Health

Briefing 9 - Understanding the economics of investments in the social determinants of health This document, commissioned by Public Health England, and written by the UCL Institute of Health Equity, examines how to use measures of economic investment to improve and increase local investment in the social determinants of health. The paper provides information to support decision-making on actions to address the social determinants of health and the development of business cases for investment. It supplements the evidence reviews in this series, which include information on the economic impacts of actions on health inequalities, and should help the reader to be an intelligent customer and commissioner of economic analyses and to understand their limitations. The paper covers: - The rationale for understanding, measuring and taking into account the economic impact of decisions and interventions that impact on the social determinants of health.- The benefits and limitations of various ‘economic measures of impact’ – commonly used terms which can be confusing, sometimes leading to misinterpretation of which measure of economic impact is appropriate for what purpose.- What is currently known about the economic impact of intervening in the social determinants of health.- Good practice and further resources which will support better decisions. The briefing is available to download above. This document is part of a series. An overview document which provides an introduction to this and other documents in the series, and links to the other topic areas, is available on the ‘Local Action on health inequalities’ project page. A video of Michael Marmot introducing the work is also available on our videos page.
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