Qualitative methods in health economics

Joanna Coast, Manuela De Allegri

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Abstract

Qualitative methods are being used increasingly by health economists, but most health economists are not trained in these methods and may need to develop expertise in this area. This article discusses important issues of ontology, epistemology, and research design, before addressing the key issues of sampling, data collection, and data analysis in qualitative research. Understanding differences in the purpose of sampling between qualitative and quantitative methods is important for health economists, and the key notion of purposeful sampling is described. The section on data collection covers in-depth and semistructured interviews, focus-group discussions, and observation. Methods for data analysis are then discussed, with a particular focus on the use of inductive methods that are appropriate for economic purposes. Presentation and publication are briefly considered, before three areas that have seen substantial use of qualitative methods are explored: attribute development for discrete choice experiment, priority-setting research, and health financing initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford research encyclopedia
Subtitle of host publicationeconomics and finance
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Publication series

NameOxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance

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    Coast, J., & De Allegri, M. (2018). Qualitative methods in health economics. In Oxford research encyclopedia: economics and finance (Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190625979.013.93