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RSPP Call for Papers | Special Issue: The Economic Impacts of Public Health Spillovers


Regional Science Policy & Practice (RSPP)

Call for Papers Special Issue: The Economic Impacts of Public Health Spillovers

Guest editors

Konstantinos Eleftheriou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); Peter Nijkamp and Konstantinos Christopoulos (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Human health has important place-based characteristics. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has again articulated in the research arena the importance of the geography of public health and its consequent economic effects. While the scientific field of medical (health) geography (see for a comprehensive overview Earickson, 2009) has grown fast in recent years, the channels through which public health outcomes are transmitted and the corresponding economic consequences have not been thoroughly examined. Specifically, the spillover effects of public health outcomes are usually either examined in isolation from their economic effects or prominent attention is given to the economic aspects, whereas the interrelation of health outcomes at the spatial level are sometimes ignored.

Aims and scope

In an attempt to bridge this gap, the aim of this special issue of RSPP is to study the economic implications of public health by incorporating its spillover effects at the supra-regional, regional and sub-regional level.

There are several micro and macro pathways through which neighboring regions can affect local health (a thorough review on how the spillover effects on health outcomes are manifested at the micro-level can be found in Benjamin-Chung et al. 2017). These include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental pathways, such as water and air pollution;
  • Infectious diseases as a result of climate change or tourism activity or any other spatial interaction mechanism;
  • Micro level behavioral risks from lifestyle spillovers;
  • Urban walkability or cyclability and green space;
  • Criminal activity including smuggling of illegal substances and weapons;
  • Other social or anthropological factors that may create public health spillovers;
  • Changes in healthcare resources or medical technology.

An indicative but not restrictive example on how candidate-authors could approach the topic of this special issue is the study by Atasoy et al. (2017) in which the regional spillover effects of the adoption of electronic health records on healthcare costs are examined.


Healthcare costs do not challenge only the sustainability of health systems but fiscal sustainability as well (see, for example, Christopoulos and Eleftheriou, 2020). In order to develop effective regional polices that contain negative and increase positive health externalities, one has to identify and quantify the economic impacts of health spillovers. This process may also aid in the mitigation of regional health disparities. Contributions to this special issue should serve the policy and practice aims of the journal.

Keywords: economic impact; health geography; public health; spillovers


Atasoy, H., Chen, P.-y., Ganju, K. (2017), The Spillover Effects of Health IT Investments on Regional Healthcare Costs, Management Science 64(6), 2515-2534.

Benjamin-Chung, J. and others (2017), Spillover Effects on Health Outcomes in Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Systematic Review, International Journal of Epidemiology 46(4), 1251-1276.

Christopoulos, K. and Eleftheriou, K. (2020), The Fiscal Impact of Health Care Expenditure: Evidence from the OECD Countries, Economic Analysis and Policy 67, 195-202.

Earickson, R. (2009), Medical Geography, In: Kitchin, R., Thrift, N. (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier, 9-20.

Submission deadline: 15 September 2024

Expected acceptance deadline: 15 December 2024

Read 1892 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 January 2024 15:13

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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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