Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for November, 2006

Physician licensure and quality: Part I

In most markets, quality regulation is not used.  If you buy a pair of pants that is lower quality than you had anticipated, you simply will not frequent the store again.  If the firm continues to offer low quality pants (at insufficiently low prices), few consumers will patronize the store and the firm will go […]

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Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman dies at 94

Milton Friedman is one of the 20th century’s most renowned economists.  The International Herald Tribune has an informative obituary (“Milton Friedman…“) in yesterday’s paper.  Below are some selected excerpts from the article. Friedman’s most famous book is Capitalism and Freedom.  One of the major tenets of the book is that “you have to have economic […]

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Nagase Effect

How do medical care costs respond to different coinsurance rates? The RAND Health Insurance Experiment (Manning, et al. AER 1987) demonstrated that moral hazard is problem; individuals with lower coinsurance rates tend to use more medical services. In 1935, Kozo Nagase formulated a mathematical heuristic to describe how coinsurance rates affected medical expenditures in Japan. […]

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Schumpeter, Hayek and the Learning Economy

As I well know, technical command of high-level calculus and mathematical modeling are prerequisites to success in 21st century graduate schools of economics. Economists generally create a mathematical model of how they believe the world functions and solve the equations to find the optimum (i.e.: quantity, price, tax rate, etc.). Perfect information is often assumed. […]

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Health Wonk Review posted

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review has been posted at David Williams’ Health Business Blog website.

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The Cost of Inconvenience and Discomfort

In his book Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking how we pay for health care, Arnold Kling gives an example of how economists view non-monetary costs in medical care setting. “Most people do not like to go to a doctor, undergo medical procedures, or stay in a hospital.  However, economists do not see this as offsetting the […]

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Sick optimistic Americans vs. healthy pessimistic English

A recent NBER working paper by Banks, Marmot, Oldfield and Smith looks at the health outcomes and Socio-Economic Status (SES) of white males between the ages of 55 and 64 in the U.S. and in England. The authors use data from the American Health and Retirement Study (HRS), Assets and Health Dynamics of the Oldest […]

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The Office: You don’t need health insurance if you’re a Schrute

On a lighter note… If you are a fan of NBC’s “The Office” and need a laugh, please take a look at the following clip on YouTube. In this video from season one, Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson) is put in charge of choosing a health insurance plan for his co-workers.

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China and AIDS

The New York Times has an interesting article (“China’s Muslims…“) of how AIDS is affecting Muslims in western China. The newspaper reports that there is a “sea change by the Chinese public health establishment” in which intravenous drug users are now being sent to treatment instead of jail. The major impetus for this change was […]

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Mass immunizations

What is the most efficient procedure to immunize large groups of people? This is an interesting question, especially considering the potential need to distribute vast amounts of medicine in the case of a terrorist attack. Since the CDC’s Vaccinations for Children (VFC) program recommended flu shots for that all children age six months and to […]

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