Going beyond health opportunity costs: exploring the potential effects of publicly funded Adult Social Care on individual net production

Project theme: Methods development

This is a joint project with the Economics of Health Systems and Interface with Social Care Policy Research Unit (ESHCRU).

Social care aims to improve the quality of life of service users, but it can also generate spill-overs. For example, social care can impact labour productivity through its effect on the quality of life of both service users and unpaid carers of working age. It can improve children outcomes if service users and unpaid carers are enabled to spend more time on informal childcare. It can also reduce utilisation of hospital services by providing cost-effective alternatives to high-cost hospital beds. In other words, on top of enhancing users’ quality of life, social care may impact other aspects of people's life including their production and consumption. Evidence on the spill-overs of Adult Social Care (ASC) can support the efficient allocation of resources within and across the public sector. However, such evidence is currently limited.


To inform public sector decision makers about the potential effects of public ASC on production and consumption. The objectives are to:

(1) Extend the existing approaches on health effects to ASC

(2) Estimate the marginal effect of public ASC on measures of production

(3) Estimate the marginal effect of public ASC on measures of consumption

(4) Estimate production and consumption opportunity costs in the public ASC sector"

Project Team

Francesco Longo, Karl Claxton, Anne Mason (ESCHRU), Susan Griffin, Simon Walker and Helen Weatherly