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The Bulletin on Health

Summarizes recent NBER Working Papers pertaining to health topics. It is distributed digitally three times a year and is free.
As health care costs continue to grow in the United States, a crucial question is whether the increased spending is productive. Traditional measures — such as those in the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) — indicate that health care productivity has declined in recent decades. However, this traditional accounting suffers from an important shortcoming: it does not directly measure health improvement as the primary outcome. In A Satellite Account for Health...

Research Summaries

Do treatment guidelines encourage use of effective treatment or impede provision of personalized health care? In Rules vs. Discretion: Treatment of Mental Illness in US Adolescents (NBER Working Paper 27890), researchers Emily Cuddy and Janet Currie address this important issue in the context of mental illness among adolescents. They use claims data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Alliance for Health Research to evaluate the effect of the initial treatment choice on...
Black Americans experience 20 percent higher mortality rates, after adjusting for age, than White Americans. One potential contributor to this disparity is the tendency for Black and White patients to receive treatment from health care providers with differing levels of performance. Among heart attack patients in the late 1990s, for example, Black patients were treated in hospitals where the typical patient had a 1 percentage point lower survival rate after 30 days...
M. Kate Bundorf is a Research Associate in the NBER’s Health Care program. She is the S. Malcolm Gillis Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Her research spans economic issues related to health insurance and health care. She has addressed the way consumers make decisions about health insurance plan purchases, how the market structure of physician practices impacts health care, and how the expansion of Medicaid...
Many NBER-affiliated researchers publish some of their findings in medical and other journals that preclude pre-publication distribution. This makes it impossible to include these papers in the NBER Working Paper Series. This is a partial listing of recent papers in this category by NBER affiliates.   Changes in Health Services Use among Commercially Insured US Populations during the COVID-19 Pandemic Whaley CM, Pera MF, Cantor J, Chang J, Velasco J, Hagg HK,...

The Bulletin on Health summarizes selected recent NBER Working Papers. It is distributed digitally to economists and other interested persons for informational and discussion purposes. The Bulletin is not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with attribution of source.

Prior to creation of the Bulletin on Health, the NBER published the Bulletin on Aging and Health, may be found here. Another new publication, the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability, is forthcoming.

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