Are health care prices falling?

It seems like everything just gets more and more expensive.  But are prices for medical care declining?  Cutler et al. (1998) found in seminal paper “Are medical prices declining? Evidence for heart attack treatments” that while unadjusted prices of medical care were in fact rising, quality-adjusted health care costs actually were falling.  In my own…

What is collider bias?

A paper by Holmberg et al. (2022) in JAMA provides a number of examples of how collider bias can lead to problematic causal inference. The term collider bias is often invoked when using directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) to map the causal pathway. Collider bias occurs when you aim to measure the impact of A on…

I have too many control variables…which ones should I include in my regression model?

Supposed you have some data on health care spending for different individuals and you want to know which patient characteristics increase health care spending. While this seems like something any health economist could do, measuring the relationship require both knowing (i) which independent variables to include in your data analysis and (ii) their functional form.…

Distributional Cost Effectiveness Analysis: A simple example

I have written previously about the need for distributional cost-effectiveness analysis (DCEA) which would increase the value of treatments who improve the health for individuals who currently have the worst expected quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). I’ve written about this in AJMC and Health Affairs among other places. One key question many individuals may have is…