The Century Forum

The Century Foundation has a very interesting debate on health care reform (transcript). Below I have cited some of the more interesting points. ERISA. Jacob Hacker, professor of political science at Yale, claims that states attempts at health care reform may be limited by the Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. According to…

Bodies

While I was in New York I saw the Bodies exhibition.  The exhibition gives a complete tour of the human anatomy using real human specimens.  While most information provided in the exhibit could be found in an anatomy textbook, it is very revealing to see how the body operates first-hand.  The exhibit not only looks…

EEA Conference Review

The Eastern Economic Association (EEA) Conference I attended last weekend was a great experience. Economists from institutions across the nation attended and I was able to interact with a number of prominent economists. Below I will summarize a few of more interesting papers which I personally saw presented at the conference. To view an abstract…

EEA Conference

Tonight I will be leaving for New York in order to present a paper at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference. The paper is titled “Adam Smith meets Paulus Salk: Estimating the social cost of influenza vaccination regulation.” This research has been performed in conjunction with John Fontanesi (UCSD), Mark Messonnier (CDC), and Bo-Hyun Cho…

Urban Sprawl and Health

Defining sprawl is difficult. Los Angeles is generally seen to be a leader in sprawl, but in fact Los Angeles is the most densely populated urban area in the U.S; Portland is seen as a model of reducing urban sprawl, but sprawl increased by 25,000 acres in Portland between 1980 and 1990. While population growth…

Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over?

An interesting paper by Douglas Almond (2006) examines whether or not influenza infections of pregnant mothers can influence long-term outcomes of the in utero babies. Almond uses the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic in the United States as a source of exogenous variation to test the fetal origins hypothesis. The fetal origins hypothesis states that “certain…

Farmers Become Health-Care Monitors

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (“In China…“), there is an interesting article about health care in rural China. The article gets at the heart of a number of health care issues: Physicians paid on a fee-for-service basis treat their patients more intensely compared to physicians paid on a salaried or capitation basis. In rural China,…