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The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs

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  • Adriana Lleras-Muney
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

There is a large body of work that documents a strong, positive correlation between education and measures of health, but little is known about the mechanisms by which education might affect health. One possibility is that more educated individuals are more likely to adopt new medical technologies. We investigate this theory by asking whether more educated people are more likely to use newer drugs, while controlling for other individual characteristics, such as income and insurance status. Using the 1997 MEPS, we find that more highly educated people are more likely to use drugs more recently approved by the FDA. We find that education only matters for individuals who repeatedly purchase drugs for a given condition, suggesting that the more educated are better able to learn from experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Lleras-Muney & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs," NBER Working Papers 9185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9185
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    Cited by:

    1. Munyanyi, Musharavati Ephraim, 2012. "Education and Earnings nexus in Zimbabwe after the 2005-2008 hyper-inflationary period: An empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 75112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2007. "On the Determinants of Mortality Reductions in the Developing World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(2), pages 247-287.
    3. Anderberg, Dan & Chevalier, Arnaud & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2011. "Anatomy of a health scare: Education, income and the MMR controversy in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 515-530, May.
    4. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Suchin Virabhak, 2007. "Pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress, longevity, and quality of life: drugs as 'Equipment for Your Health'," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 371-392.
    5. W. Craig Riddell & Xueda Song, 2017. "The Role of Education in Technology Use and Adoption: Evidence from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(5), pages 1219-1253, October.
    6. Karine Lamiraud & Stephane Lhuillery, 2016. "Endogenous Technology Adoption and Medical Costs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(9), pages 1123-1147, September.
    7. M. Christopher Auld & Nirmal Sidhu, 2005. "Schooling, cognitive ability and health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 1019-1034.
    8. Steingrimsdottir, Herdis, 2016. "Reproductive rights and the career plans of U.S. college freshmen," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-41.
    9. Maitra, Sudeshna, 2010. "Can patient self-management explain the health gradient? Goldman and Smith's "Can patient self-management help explain the SES health gradient?" (2002) revisited," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 802-812, March.
    10. Sansani, Shahar, 2011. "The effects of school quality on long-term health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1320-1333.
    11. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 395-424, September.
    12. Liliya Leopold & Thomas Leopold, 2016. "Education and Health across Lives and Cohorts: A Study of Cumulative Advantage in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 835, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Daiji Kawaguchi & Tetsushi Murao & Ryo Kambayashi, 2014. "Incidence of Strict Quality Standards: Protection of Consumers or Windfall for Professionals?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 195-224.
    14. Grossman, Michael, 2006. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    15. Jürgen Maurer, 2008. "Assessing horizontal equity in medication treatment among elderly Mexicans: which socioeconomic determinants matter most?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(10), pages 1153-1169.
    16. Lynch, Jamie L. & von Hippel, Paul T., 2016. "An education gradient in health, a health gradient in education, or a confounded gradient in both?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 18-27.
    17. Giuliano Masiero & Massimo Filippini & Matus Ferech & Herman Goossens, 2007. "Determinants of outpatient antibiotic consumption in Europe: bacterial resistance and drug prescribers," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 0702, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    18. Sherry Glied & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Technological innovation and inequality in health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(3), pages 741-761, August.
    19. Lange, Fabian, 2011. "The role of education in complex health decisions: Evidence from cancer screening," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-54, January.
    20. Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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