Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Economics – General' Category

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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Comparing Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare Functions

When evaluating whether a policy or medical treatment approved, policymakers often rely on cost-benefit analysis (CBA).  However, how does one measure costs and benefits?  Costs are often measured in monetary terms and benefits are often measured as decreases in mortality or morbidity. One way to ensure to tradeoff cost and benefits is to monetize health […]

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Macroeconomic Variables Around the World

What is the GDP of Azerbaijan?  What is the Estonia’s exchange rate?  Is inflation a problem in Sri Lanka? To answer all these questions, you need a variety of macroeconomic variables from each of these countries.  Further, these measures must be standardized across countries.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this data exist? It turns out […]

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2013 Nobel Prize in Economics: Fama, Hansen and Shiller

Today, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller. Here is a summary of their contribution to the field which earned them the award. Eugene Fama. Beginning in the 1960s, Eugene Fama and several collaborators demonstrated that stock prices are extremely difficult to predict in […]

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Productivity Spillovers: The Case of AMI

The Healthcare Economist has written a lot about the fact that there exists significant regional variation in health care spending.  Is this due to a provider cultural norms?  Or are other factors at play? A paper by Chandra and Staiger (2007) claim that productivity spillovers may explain this results.  I summarize their proposition in more […]

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How does one measure the value of R&D?

Measuring the value of research and development (R&D) is a difficult problem.  Specifically, how does one measure the value of R&D on multifactor productivity (MFP).   At first glance, one would expect the value of R&D to be proportional to R&D spending in a given year.  However, this approach ignores that knowledge from previous years’ R&D […]

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Pension Obligations by State

Detroit recently declared bankruptcy. But it may not be the last state or municipal government to do so.  Many states are not fully funding their pension obligations to state workers.  How much money do state residents need to contribute to fully fund their state’s pension obligation? According to a study by Novy Marx and Rauh, […]

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