The Cost of Cost Studies
We review methods and assess the policy influence of a series of publiclyfunded Cost of Illness studies, mostly published since 1990. Our analysis shows that headline cost estimates, including the influential paper by Collins and Lapsley (2008), depend on an incorrect procedure for incorporating real world imperfections in consumer information and rationality, producing a substantial over-estimate of costs. Other errors further inflate these estimates, resulting in headline costs that are unrelated to either total economic welfare or GDP and therefore of no policy relevance. Counting only external, policy-relevant costs not only deflates overall figures substantially but also results in rank order changes among cost categories. Despite this, Cost of Illness studies appear effective in mobilizing public opinion towards increased regulation and taxation that is not justified by an expected increase in economic welfare: this is the cost of cost studies.
|Date of creation:||01 Jul 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand|
Phone: 64 3 369 3123 (Administrator)
Fax: 64 3 364 2635
Web page: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Matt Burgess & Eric Crampton, 2009. "The Price of everything The Value of Nothing: A (Truly) External Review Of BERL’s Study Of Harmful Alcohol and Drug Use," Working Papers in Economics 09/10, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
- Margaret Giles & Anh T. Le, 2007.
"Prisoners' Labour Market History and Aspirations: A Focus on Western Australia,"
The Economic Record,
The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 31-45, 03.
- Anh Tram Le & Margaret Giles, 2006. "Prisoners' Labour Market History and Aspirations: A Focus on Western Australia," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-12, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
- Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the "Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 395-426, October.
- Vernon L. Smith, 2003.
"Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
- Smith, Vernon L., 2002. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2002-7, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Pinka Chatterji & Jeffrey DeSimone, 2006. "High School Alcohol Use and Young Adult Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- M. Christopher Auld, 2005. "Smoking, Drinking, and Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
- J. Doyne Farmer & John Geanakoplos, 2009.
"Hyperbolic Discounting Is Rational: Valuing the Far Future with Uncertain Discount Rates,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1719, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- J. Doyne Farmer & John Geanakoplos, 2009. "Hyperbolic discounting is rational: Valuing the far future with uncertain discount rates," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000356, David K. Levine.
- Thomas Leonard, 2008. "Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 356-360, December.
- Berggren, Niclas, 2011.
"Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics,"
Ratio Working Papers
166, The Ratio Institute.
- Niclas Berggren, 2012. "Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 199-221, September.
- Eric Rasmusen, 2008. "Some Common Confusions about Hyperbolic Discounting," Working Papers 2008-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Elvira Lima & Teresa J. Esquerdo, 2003. "The economic costs of alcohol misuse in Portugal," NIMA Working Papers 24, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:11/29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Albert Yee)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.