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Does the U.S. health care sector suffer from Baumol's cost disease? Evidence from the 50 states

  • Bates, Laurie J.
  • Santerre, Rexford E.

This study examines if health care costs in the United States are affected by Baumol's cost disease. It relies on an empirical test proposed by Hartwig (2008) and extended by Colombier (2010) and uses a panel data set of 50 states over the 1980–2009 period. The results suggest that health care costs grow more rapidly when economy-wide wage increases exceed productivity gains. The findings are fairly robust with respect to time- and state-fixed effects, individual state time trends, and two-stage least square estimation. Consequently, this study suggests that the U.S. health care sector suffers from Baumol's cost disease.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 386-391

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:2:p:386-391
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  3. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 2000. "International comparisons of health expenditure: Theory, data and econometric analysis," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 11-53 Elsevier.
  4. Jonathan Heathcote & Morris Davis, 2004. "The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in the United States," 2004 Meeting Papers 32, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "Baumol's Diseases: A Macroeconomic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 12218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jack E. Triplett & Barry P. Bosworth, 2003. "Productivity measurement issues in services industries: "Baumol's disease" has been cured," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 23-33.
  7. Colombier, Carsten, 2012. "Drivers of health care expenditure: Does Baumol's cost disease loom large?," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 12-5, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
  8. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
  9. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jochen Hartwig, 2006. "What Drives Health Care Expenditure? Baumol’s Model of ‘Unbalanced Growth’ Revisited," KOF Working papers 06-133, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  11. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
  12. Jochen Hartwig, 2011. "Can Baumol's model of unbalanced growth contribute to explaining the secular rise in health care expenditure? An alternative test," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 173-184.
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