Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Robert Urquhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Yavuz Yasar

Third Advisor

Tracy Mott

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Pap


Critique, Health economics, Neoclassical economics, Theory


The purpose of this thesis is to display an internal critique of the neoclassical theory of health care consumption with the intention of understanding its true merits and limitations. To avoid arbitrariness, instead of criticizing it directly, this thesis first explores the existing scholarly critiques, as well as the developments of this theory in response to these criticisms. What is interestingly observed is that the neoclassical responses tend to systematically fall into two problematic categories – the trade-off between reality and theoretical determinacy, and free-market behavior resolution. Such observation suggests that there is something fundamentally problematic with this theory, which is overlooked by the existing critiques. Also, by looking into how consumer behavior is theorized in neoclassical framework, this thesis points out that the fundamental problem of this theory is embedded in the purely subjective and quantitative neoclassical notion of utility, which is the foundation that this theory is built on, as well as the interlocking characteristic of the neoclassical theoretical structure. Ultimately, this thesis argues that such in depth critique points us to a better alternative theoretical framework to analyze the consumption of health care.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Xiao Jiang


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

71 p.


Economic theory, Philosophy