Effect of multiple sclerosis on income

Typically, people focus on how severe diseases affect their health.  Clearly, however, poor health also can affect people’s income as well as some disease makes holding a job difficult or impossible.  Even people in good health with serious diseases may lower income if they need to miss work frequently for frequent doctor’s appointments. In fact,…

How did the Affordable Care Act affect the U.S. labor supply?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to increase health insurance coverage largely through two pathways: (i) raising the income limits for individuals to qualify for Medicaid, (ii) creating new health insurance exchanges and health insurance subsidies to encourage the purchase of private health insurance among individuals that were not eligible for Medicaid.  Other provisions, such…

Machine learning and physician employement

An article by Ajay Agrawal and Avi Goldfarb (“The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence“) provide an interesting perspective on how machine learning will affect employment with a nice example from the health care sector. All human activities can be described by five high-level components: data, prediction, judgment, action, and outcomes. For example, a visit to the…

Disability Benefits Around the World

In a series of papers, Coile, Milligan and Wise look at Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World. In the sixth installment of the series, the authors look specifically at disability programs. Although stereotypically one would believe that most people exit the workforce due to choice and rely on Social Security, job pensions, and…

CBO vs. Urban: ACA and Unemployment

Will the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) cost American millions of jobs. A recent report by the CBO says yes. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers…

Calculating Multifactor Productivity

What is multifactor productivity? Multifactor productivity (MFP) is a measure of real output per combined unit of labor and capital, reflecting the contributions of all factors of production.  A change in multifactor productivity reflects the change in output that cannot be accounted for by the change in combined inputs. As a result, multifactor productivity measures…