Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Academic Articles' Category

Health Economics Resources: Leading Scholars, Institutions and Journals

Who are the leaders in the field of health economics? Below I list the top 10 health economics scholars, institutions and journals as ranked by a recent JHE article by Adam Wagstaff and Anthony J. Culyer. A more complete list is also available here. Top Health Economists David M. Cutler Jonathan Gruber Frank A. Sloan […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Average vs. Marginal Benefit of Medical Treatment

“The weak relationship between aggregate spending and health outcomes is in stark contrast to evidence showing pronounced medical benefits for use of specific medical devices, procedures, or pharmaceuticals. For example, advances in the treatment of heart attacks reduced the one-year mortality rate for these patients by 5 percentage points between 1984 and 1991 (Cutler et […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does competition improve health care quality?

If economists decided to re-write the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt love Competition” may make the list.  However, does competition always improve quality?  Even in the case of health care? A paper by Scanlon et al. (2008) “…found no evidence of a strong and consistent relationship between HMO competition (measured either by the HHI or the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Evidence that Women are the stronger sex: Mortality after the death of a spouse

A few papers have found that mortality rises after the death of the spouse.  Some researchers have inferred that this is due to a causal effect of this emotionally traumatic event.  Further, married individuals generally live longer, so the loss of this “marriage protection” could be the cause of increased mortality.  On the other hand, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Maternal Leave and Maternal Health

Does taking time off of work help to improve maternal health after pregnancy? A recent NBER working paper by Pinka Chatterji and Sara Markowitz attempts to answer this question. The abstract of the paper is below: In the United States, almost a third of new mothers who worked during pregnancy return to work within three […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Value of Life in General Equilibrium

Economists believe that the value of life increases as life expectancy increases. While this is generally true, a paper by Jena, Mulligan, Philipson, and Eric Sun (2008) shows that while people value living for a long time, the value this longer life expectancy more when their friends and family also live longer. In the authors […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Cochrane Review: The effect of capitation, fee-for-service (FFS) and mixed payment systems on primary care physician behavior

Primary care physicians can be compensated in a number of ways. The most popular are capitation, fee-for-service, salary, or some mixture of the three. But how does the physician compensation method affect care levels? This is the question Gosden et al. (2000) try to answer in their Cochrane review. The authors search the literature for […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Would you give up some life expectancy to know the day you will die?

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft agley” – Robert Burns The only certainty in life is uncertainty. Individuals make plans for their future without knowing how long they will live in reality. Retirement planning, for instance, is very difficult due to uncertain life expectancy. Would you be willing to trade some of […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Should employers provide health insurance to their employees? There are many reasons why they should. One is that employees are attracted to firms that offer health insurance, especially since their are tax and cost advantages to group health insurance purchased through an employer. Another reason is that if a worker becomes sick, that reduces productivity. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Science 2.0

The Scientific American magazine has an interesting article (“Science 2.0“) about the web, open-access, blogging and research. Should researchers post their results online? Should scientists blog about their methodology? Pros It seems like academic research is the perfect forum for social networking and blogging. The sharing of ideas is a key means towards scientific invention/innovation. […]

Read the rest of this entry »