Blindly sending money down leaky pipes

Proposals to spend more on government programs in India are generally criticised on the grounds that this is sending more money down a leaky pipe. In addition to the problem that the pipes leak, there is an equally big problem that we have no idea about what happens at the other end.

In order . . . → Read More: Blindly sending money down leaky pipes

He Who Pays The Bills Makes The Rules

Fox News, the bastion of modern neo-conservatism, is knee-deep in stupid:

Soft drinks have unfairly become the whipping boy of most anti-obesity campaigns. Maybe friends shouldn’t give friends Big Gulps, but to my knowledge, no one’s ever been forced to buy and drink one. People who want sweet drinks will find and consume them, . . . → Read More: He Who Pays The Bills Makes The Rules

The Old factor

Just catching up on some things.  A few have asked me about an article a couple weeks ago covering some work from Harold on how Pittsburgh’s medicare spending per capita compares to other regions.  In summary read: it’s really high.

It just got me thinking.  Whenever I see anything like this I wonder about the impact . . . → Read More: The Old factor

Slower Growth in Healthcare Spending

In honor of the first week in our Healthcare Economics class, and the beginning of a 6 week session on healthcare via OLLI, here is an interesting report from The New York Times.

National health spending rose a slight 3.9 percent in 2010, as Americans delayed hospital care, doctor’s visits and prescription drug purchases . . . → Read More: Slower Growth in Healthcare Spending

Man vs. Machines

This post will be useful in the fall, when I hold a Principles of Microeconomics class. In that class we take a look at the market for labor, including productivity. We know that if we add a production input, like labor, but hold other inputs (like capital equipment) steady, that marginal improvements to output . . . → Read More: Man vs. Machines

A Breakdown of Birth

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Flu down; Profit Up at Aetna

On Tuesday Aetna Inc. lifted its 2010 earnings forecast a second time after the firm reported milder-than-expected flu season. The good news about flu this year tacked one more positive in an earnings season that has been dominated by profit results and increasingly positive projections.

The firm now projects that their operating earnings may . . . → Read More: Flu down; Profit Up at Aetna

Don’t Repeal/Litigate, Nullify/Interpose!

Well, they’ve gone and screwed it up — 14 state attorneys general have filed lawsuits against ObamaCare.

If the states really want to beat ObamaCare, litigation isn’t the way to go about it. Nullification/interposition is.

In litigation, the parties accept that the courts have jurisdiction over this or that issue, and walk away with . . . → Read More: Don’t Repeal/Litigate, Nullify/Interpose!

Canadian and U.S. Healthcare Systems Compared

A study by June O’Neill and Dave M. O’Neill (link) suggests that the U.S health care system provides more choice, efficiency, better delivery and capacity than the Canadian system:

“Does Canada’s publicly funded, single payer health care system deliver better health outcomes and distribute health resources more equitably than the multi-payer heavily private U.S. . . . → Read More: Canadian and U.S. Healthcare Systems Compared

Minimum Wage and Obesity

David O. Meltzer and Zhuo Chen explored the relationship between minimum wage rate in the U.S and body weight (link):

“Growing consumption of increasingly less expensive food, and especially “fast food”, has been cited as a potential cause of increasing rate of obesity in the United States over the past several decades. Because the . . . → Read More: Minimum Wage and Obesity