Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Teaching Short Courses Short Courses in… EconPrinc

Economic Principles of  Social Security 

January 28 - February 8, 2013

(course vneue GIZ centre Mannheim)


This course runs in Cooperation of GIZ (German International Cooperation), evaPlan International Public Health Consult and the Institute of Public Health. GIZ sponsors a group of south East Asian participants.

Content Oveview

  • Economic principles of social security and its main components
  • System-regulated, tax and contribution financed compulsory public insurance in international comparison
  • Statutory social security and its components (particularly health insurance and old-age provision) against the background of social change (responsibilities of the state, liberalisation, etc.)
  • Essential elements of private provision, possibilities of state subsidisation and important risk differences of individual insurance instruments
  • Essential variables of social change and their effect on the financial stability and earning power of the three pillars of social security (statutory, private, individual) based on the example of health insurance and old-age provision
  • Current approaches to quantify the burden of diseases
  • Ethical concepts in Social Security Introduction to national (health) accounts and health sector reforms

Learning Objectives

The advancement of social security and social security systems worldwide raises a demand for training and qualification for technical and management staff, so that they can initiate and manage the processes of change in their own countries.

The aim of the advanced module is to assist participants to understand the fundamental economic aspects of social security, as well as the effects and incentives entailed by insurances.

Examples will be drawn from both developing and developed countries and case studies will serve as a basis for learning of important ethical concepts in social security.

At the end of the module participants will be able to:

1. Discuss and describe how markets function and the problem to use markets in health     care.
    Specific objectives
    1.1 explain the concept of homo economicus and rational person
    1.2 critically discuss the shortcomings from game theory; reciprocal behaviour
    1.3 explain the modes of payment for suppliers
    1.4 describe user, access and coverage of the formal and informal sector

2. Identify important ethical concepts in social security
    Specific objectives
    2.1 critically discuss the theory of utilitarianism and deontology
    2.2 review Rawlsian justice
    2.3 recognise different religious and cultural concepts

3. Critically discuss why social security can be important instrument to stimulate economic     development
    Specific objectives
    3.1 formulate life-cycle risks
    3.2 explain the economic instability due to catastrophic events /expenditures
    3.3 describe the risk taking and risk aversion
    3.4 analyse health and economic growth
    3.5 formulate national health accounts

4. Explain  the fundamentals of insurance and the major difference between private and         social insurance
    Specific objectives
    4.1 explain the welfare theory and the existing forms of welfare state
    4.2 define the economics of private insurance and covering individual risk
    4.3 formulate principles of social insurance     
     4.4 discuss the problems of adverse selection and moral hazard

5. Review the current approaches to quantify the burden of disease
    Specific objectives
    5.1 determine burden of disease and critique of DALY
    5.2 differentiate cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness-, and cost-utility analysis.
    5.3 apply  the measurement of costs, outcomes, utility, and Health Technology Assessment

Learning Methods

The course is composed of interactive presentations (50h), facilitated group work with exercises and case studies, as well as group discussions, building on participant experience (20h) and self-directed learning (20h).

The individual teaching sessions will introduce the markets in health care, the fundamentals of private and social insurance, the structure of the welfare state in Germany and Europe, and ethical basis of social security. The lecturers will be from variety of fields, including public health, health economics, medicine.

During the facilitated group work, the students will read core texts and case studies at the international or national level, which focus on specific regions of interest selected by the participants. They will make text analysis for better understanding of the published scientific data and in the process of discussion the students will synthesise the knowledge. The participants will use real data on an Excel sheet to practice different approaches to quantify the burden of diseases. The group sessions will be used for preparation of the group oral case presentations.

Through self directed learning the students will be able to gain more knowledge from the required reading materials of the course, to systematize and go in depth of the already presented and discussed material. During this time they will be able to prepare their written case study reports.

A reader with essential reading is provided before the course starts, which is expected to be read before the sessions.

Assessment Procedures

Course participants are expected to attend teaching sessions and actively participate in class discussions and group work.

Assessment of participants’ achievement of the learning objectives will be determined as follows:

  • 50 %    individual final written exam composed of 3 short essay questions and case studies, from which the students have to choose. The students will have 4 hours examination.
  • 30%     group written report of case study (4 pages)
  •  20%     group oral presentation of case study

The levels of expected performance for the evaluation of the written case report and the oral group presentation will be made available to participants. They are in line with the expected course outcomes.

Duration / Accreditation

  • 2 weeks / 90 hours (75 contact hours, 15 self study hours);
  • Full time attendance required.
  • 3 ECTS (tropEd Master in International Health.)

Course Venue

The course venue for this course is the GIZ Learning Centre in Mannheim (near Heidelberg).

Target Group and Prerequisites

  • The course is open to professionals in the health sector holding a higher academic degree MSc first degree, or Postgraduate course in Public or International Health or related fields.
  • Candidates are expected to have at least two years of professional experience in the sector of social and /or health insurance, or planning to work at the national level in a developing country on topics, mentioned under contents
  • Public health professionals; social scientists, paramedical staff, project planners / co-ordinators, medical doctors, tropEd students;
  • The course is held in English. Fluency in English (Reading, Speaking, Writing) required.

Course Fee and Registration


Course Fee

  • General Admittance € 1.500;
  • tropEd students € 1.000.

Please register as soon as possible as the number of participants is limited.
A non-refundable registration fee of € 200, which will be credited towards the tuition fee, is due no later than 8 weeks prior to the start of the course.  The remaining tuition fee is due not later than 6 weeks prior to the start of the course. Unfortunately, no Scholarships are available. If the participant withdraws from the course

  • less than 6 weeks prior: 25 % of the course fee will be charged.
  • less than 4 weeks prior: 50 % of the course fee will be charged.
  • less than 2 weeks prior: the whole course fee will be charged.

The tuition fee covers coursework and printed materials, but does not include accommodation, insurance or other personal living costs during the stay.

Contact for Registrations

Dr. Svetla Loukanova
Course Coordinator
evaplan GmbH am Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
Fon: +49 (0) 6221 1382317
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 1382320

tropEd Coordinator

Dr. Pauline Grys
Institute of Public Health