Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economics / Economic Policy


Professor David Feeny


Professor Martin Osborne

Committee Member

Professor Jeremiah Hurley


This thesis consists of three essays on health economics. Chapter 1 is an introduction. Chapter 2 studies waiting lists for medical care, and Chapters 3 and 4 study the demand for tobacco products. The main contribution of Chapter 2 is a game-theoretic model of waiting times for medical care that provides new insights into how health care waiting times and the number of cases treated may be related. The model demonstrates that charging patients for medical care may not result in decreased waiting times. One policy implication of the model is the potential gains from the sharing of information and co-ordination among health-care providers. Chapters 3 and 4 are on the demand for tobacco products. Estimating the demand for tobacco involves choosing one or more econometric specifications or functional forms. Different econometric specifications can result in conflicting results, raising questions about how to interpret results. A primary objective of Chapter 3 is to identify the similarities and differences between three econometric specifications that have often been applied to tobacco data. A behavioural model is a useful starting point for making these comparisons. In this chapter I compare the results arrived at by applying different specifications to one data set. This data set reports individual's expenditure on tobacco. Chapter 4 examines a data set that reports household expenditure on tobacco. A number of economics papers examine tobacco data from the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain. Chapter 4 examines tobacco data from Canada. One finding indicates that households that do not own their home and consist of one or more unemployed individuals tend to purchase a relatively high amount of tobacco. This information may be of interest to people involved in tobacco policy.

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