Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Economics – General' Category

Is 2% US GDP the new normal?

In the past, many economists targeted 4% GDP growth as the long-run average.  However, in recent years long-run GDP growth has fallen to about 2% per year.  Is the US economic engine slowing down?  Maybe, not. Growth in a country’s GDP comes from 2 components: growth in GDP per work and growth in the number of […]

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In Memoriam: Willard G. Manning, 1946-2014

In November, Willard Manning passed away.  I met Dr. Manning as he was a lecturer at the European Science Days summer school in Steyr, Austria.  iHEA has put together a nice in memoriam article and I have an sample of that below.  I will echo that although Dr. Manning was best know for his work on the RAND […]

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WTP to reduce mortality risk

How much would you pay to live longer?  Most people would say an infinite amount.  In practice, however, this is not the case.  For instance, you can drive slower to reduce your risk of a car crash.  In this case, you trade off your time with your probability of death.  Or, to continue the care […]

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The Standard Gamble

One concept often used in healthcare is the quality-adjusted life years (QALY).  The concept is fairly simple.  It assumes that people value one year of life in perfect health at 1; people who die have a value of a life year of 0.  One year of life where you have 50% health is then valued […]

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Does International Development Work?

In a well thought out piece in the New Republic, Michael Hobbes argues the answer isn’t ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the expectations for aid programs to completely reinvigorate an economy or improve health care dramatically are often overestimated.  Consider the case of a program that distributes food to individuals who are malnurished. In Udaipur, India, a […]

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics goes to…

Jean Tirole. The full scientific background is here.  Marginal Revolution has a number of posts or you can check out Wonk Blog.  Digitopoly discusses how Tirole is like Louis Pasteur.  Vox has a nice overview of Tirole’s work as well and an example from newspapers… Newspapers, for example, are one area the Nobel Committee points to […]

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Will Obamacare Increase the share of Part-Time Workers?

The ACA requires large employers to provide coverage to all full-time workers. However, providing insurance is costly. Will employers avoid this requirement by hiring more part-time workers? An Urban Institute report claims that this is not the case. We find no evidence that the ACA had already started increasing part-time work before 2014. We find […]

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Capitalism vs. Competition

Nevertheless, devaluing competition is a central theme of Thiel’s new book. He asserts that “capitalism and competition are opposites,” because “under perfect competition, all profits get competed away.” He exhorts entrepreneurs to seek out monopolies, concluding, “All happy companies are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem. All failed companies are […]

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Defining “comparative advantage”

Don Boudreaux describes comparative advantage using an interesting example. HT: Marginal Revolution

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CrowdMed

Last week, I had an interview with Jared Heyman, Founder of the CrowdMed website. What is CrowdMed? Here is the website in the firm’s own words CrowdMed (www.crowdmed.com) is harnessing “the wisdom of crowds” to help solve the world’s most difficult medical cases quickly and accurately. On CrowdMed, a patient with an undiagnosed medical condition can post […]

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