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Medical Expenditure Growth and the Diffusion of Medical Technology

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  • Justin Polchlopek
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    Abstract

    The general consensus among health economists is that the increasing capability of medical providers— often called medical “technology”—is responsible for the majority of growth in medical expenditure. And yet, the principle means of understanding medical technology is through the use of total factor productivity, which, despite giving reasonable estimates of the magnitude of the effects, is not a theory of technology, leaving policymakers without effective tools for prediction. This paper develops a descriptive model of technology that may have interesting implications for health economics. The model suggests that the manner of diffusion of technology is critical, and when technology diffuses haphazardly, the effects on expenditure can be unexpectedly large.

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    File URL: http://economics.utah.edu/publications/2011_10.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Utah, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah with number 2011_10.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:uta:papers:2011_10

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    Web page: http://economics.utah.edu
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    Related research

    Keywords: Health Economics; Health Care Production; National Health Expenditures; Sraffian Economics; Total Factor Productivity; Input-Output Economics; Technological Diffusion Processes JEL Codes: B51; C67; D24; D57; I11; I12; O33;

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    References

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    1. Kurz,Heinz D. & Salvadori,Neri, 1997. "Theory of Production," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521588676, October.
    2. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1996. "Are Medical Prices Declining?," NBER Working Papers 5750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Harcourt, G C, 1969. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 369-405, June.
    4. Jesus Felipe & J. S. L. McCombie, 2003. "Some methodological problems with the neoclassical analysis of the East Asian miracle," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 695-721, September.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Medical expenditure and technology growth
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-05-27 14:57:00

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