Nichols, L.M., & Taylor, L.A. (2018). Social determinants as public goods: A new approach to financing key investments in healthy communities. Health Affairs, 37(8), 1223-1230.

Year: 2018


This article argues that underinvestment in social determinants of health stems from the fact that such investments are in effect public goods, and thus benefits cannot be efficiently limited to those who pay for them—which makes it more difficult to capture return on investment. Drawing on lesser-known economic models and available data, this article shows how a properly governed, collaborative approach to financing could enable self-interested health stakeholders to earn a financial return on and sustain their social determinants investments.

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