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Medical Expenditure Growth and the Diffusion of Medical Technology

  • Justin Polchlopek
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    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/research/publications/2011_10.pdf
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    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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    1. 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.
    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. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521443258 is not listed on IDEAS
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