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Medical innovation, education, and labor market outcomes of cancer patients

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  • Jeon, Sung-Hee
  • Pohl, R. Vincent

Abstract

Innovations in cancer treatment have lowered mortality, but little is known about their economic benefits. We assess the effect of two decades of improvement in cancer treatment options on the labor market outcomes of breast and prostate cancer patients. In addition, we compare this effect across cancer patients with different levels of educational attainment. We estimate the effect of medical innovation on cancer patients’ labor market outcomes employing tax return and cancer registry data from Canada and measuring medical innovation by using the number of approved drugs and a quality-adjusted patent index. We find that innovations in cancer treatment during the 1990s and 2000s reduced the negative employment effects of cancer by 63% to 70%, corresponding to a reduction in the economic costs of prostate and breast cancer diagnoses by 13,500 and 5800 dollars per year, respectively. The benefits of medical innovation are limited to cancer patients with postsecondary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeon, Sung-Hee & Pohl, R. Vincent, 2019. "Medical innovation, education, and labor market outcomes of cancer patients," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:68:y:2019:i:c:s0167629619302516
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102228
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    2. Bütikofer, Aline & Cronin, Christopher J. & Skira, Meghan M., 2020. "Employment effects of healthcare policy: Evidence from the 2007 FDA black box warning on antidepressants," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medical innovation; Breast cancer; Prostate cancer; Employment; Earnings; Returns to education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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