Health economics

Damian Clarke, Hanna Mühlrad, 12 November 2018

Women’s health is frequently cited when debating the merits of abortion legislation. However, the arguments are often based on evidence which is correlational or drawn from small or non-representative samples of women. This column explores the impacts of abortion legislation on women’s health using the universe of health records from Mexico, where abortion was legalised in the Federal District of Mexico while sanctions on abortion were increased in other regions of the country. It documents immediate reductions in rates of hospitalisation of women with the legalisation of abortion.

Daniel Bauer, Darius Lakdawalla, Julian Reif, 05 November 2018

People with shorter life expectancies place more value on increases in survival than people who anticipate longer life spans. That may seem obvious, but economists have been making the opposite prediction for decades. This column demonstrates the mistake in the earlier theory and points out important policy implications, including that payers and governments are undervaluing investments in treating highly severe illnesses.

Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Eduardo Azevedo, Clayton Featherstone, Omer Karaduman, 03 November 2018

National kidney exchange platforms significantly boost the number of life-saving kidney transplants by finding complicated exchange arrangements that are not possible within any single hospital. This column examines US data and finds that the majority of kidney exchanges continue to be performed within hospitals, suggesting a fragmented market that comes at a large efficiency cost. National platforms may need to be redesigned to encourage full participation, with reimbursement reform.

Jeffrey E. Harris, Mariana Gerstenblüth, Patricia Triunfo, 28 October 2018

The Surgeon General of the United States concluded in 1988 that the nicotine in cigarette smoke is an addictive drug. This column reports on an experiment which revealed that smokers, when confronted with warnings that were repugnant and threatening to many of them, could still make choices consistent with the widely accepted standard rules of rational choice. The model of the two-self economic man offers one explanation for how the participants could engage in such apparently rational behaviour in the face of their addiction.

Kevin Callison, Robert Kaestner, Jason Ward, 13 October 2018

Researchers have long observed substantial geographic variation in the use of health care services. This column uses data on health care use among individuals who are uninsured as they approach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare to argue that most geographic variation is the result of supply-side factors that allow providers to exercise discretion over the levels of care provided. Policies aimed at reducing these discrepancies across regions may not only ‘bend the cost curve’, but may also directly reduce health risks arising from individuals receiving ineffective or unneccesary health care services.

Other Recent Articles:

Events

CEPR Policy Research