Gordon Hanson in The Economist

UCSD professor Gordon Hanson‘s recent work on immigration was recently cited in The Economist (“Guests v Gatecrashers“). The article states: Its laws of motion are set out in a recent paper [‘The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration‘] by Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego. He points out that unskilled labour is increasingly…

Adjusting Nursing Home Quality Measures

The Nursing Home Compare website provides consumers with quality ratings of thousands of nursing homes (NHs) around the country. Are these ratings accurate? Could they be improved? This is the question which researchers Arling, Lewis, Kane, Mueller and Flood analyze in their 2007 HSR paper. The authors find 2 major flaws with the rankings: 1)…

Medical costs contribute to half of bankruptcies

According to a 2005 Health Affairs article by Himmelstein et al. (“Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy“), about half of all individuals filing for personal bankruptcy cite medical expenses as one of the major causes.   A lapse in insurance coverage contributed to many of these high medical expenses which lead to the bankruptcy.

Randomized Controlled Trials and Adverse Effects

Most health care scholars–whether they are scientists, doctors or economists–believe that randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the best means by which one can test whether or not a drug is efficacious. Despite its high cost, RCTs are able to abstract from confounding factors by randomly assigning similar patients to both a treatment and a placebo-controlled…

Late to the Feast: Primary Care

What issues are facing primary care physicians in the near future?  A nice article by Eugene Rich and Anna Maio discusses just this topic in their paper “Late to the Feast: Primary Care and US Health Policy.” Some issues discussed are: How FFS payment systems compare to prepaid-group practice with regards to the type of…

NHS refuses to provide surgery for smokers

The Times of London reports (“…no surgery until you quit“) that smokers who needed surgery “…would not be added to waiting lists until they had given up smoking.” While there is vast medical evidence that shows the hazards of smoking as well as the fact that smoking reduces recovery time from surgery, should we really…

Adam Smith meets Jonas Salk

Below is an abstract of a working paper I am writing with Dr. John Fontanesi and two other co-authors at the CDC.  The complete paper is available on my website. Influenza is the 7th leading killer in the United States. In order an attempt to attenuate the threat of an influenza outbreak, the Centers for…

Leopards vs. Tigers

Everyone has heard of the Asian Tigers.  The countries of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are four countries who have experienced significant economic growth over recent decades.  Due to the meteoric rise in the economic indicators in these countries, many economists have named them the Asian Tigers. But what about the African Leopards? …

Globalization and Sushi

For those who rant about the evils of globalization, let us examine the Sushi Economy. NPR’s Marketplace discusses The Sushi Economy book with its author Sasha Issenberg. Mr. Issenberg talks about how globalization has made the sushi industry a reality in the modern world. Technological improvements in travel and communication have lead to an increased…