J

Jarman Index

An index of social deprivation that is used mainly in the UK. See Brian Jarman (1983), 'Identification of underprivileged areas', British Medical Journal, 286, 1705-8. Cf. Townsend Index.

JCAHO

Acronym for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Job-lock

Reductions in labour mobility that may arise in systems of employment-based health insurance.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

An independent, not-for-profit US organization, JCAHO is a major standardsetting and accrediting body in health care. It evaluates and accredits nearly 16 000 health care organizations and programmes in the United States. Its mission is 'To continuously improve [sic] the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations.' Its web site is http://www.jcaho.org/.

Joint Costs

'Is the cost of the animal's feed the cost of the mutton or of the wool?' This is the problem famously posed when a production process (in this case sheep farming) produces joint products. The question as posed is unanswerable (sensibly), though the question 'what is the cost of extra feed?' is answerable

188 Judgment when one is considering increasing meat or wool production or changing the combination of the two by slaughtering later or earlier. Fortunately there are few (if any) practical situations which can be usefully informed by asking (let alone trying to answer) the opening question in this entry. In health economics, the classic context for this question has been teaching hospitals, which produce health care services and medical education (and some even produce research output). See also Overhead Costs, Sunk Costs.

Judgment

To exercise one's judgment is to bring to bear on a matter one's experience, knowledge, powers of discernment and discrimination in order to make a decision or to determine the merit of something (like an argument). In health economics, judgments are frequently required in deciding (for example) whether the data that are available are good enough for one's purposes, whether a likely bias in one's empirical work is sufficiently important to warrant detailed investigation, whether the literature has been thoroughly enough searched, whether the claims for or against a particular course of action are warranted, or partly warranted, or not at all warranted by the available evidence base and the arguments put up. A particular type of judgment has been much discussed in economics: judgment of value (usually termed a value judgment), which has nothing to do with value in the sense of the price of something but refers instead to the ethical or moral merit in something. Welfare economics concerns itself principally with such value judgments.

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