The exploding cost of health care in the United States is a source of widespread alarm. Similarly, the upward spiral of college tuition fees is cause for serious concern. In this concise and illuminating book, well-known economist William J. Baumol explores the causes of these seemingly intractable problems and offers a surprisingly simple explanation. Baumol identifies the "cost disease" as a major source of rapidly rising costs in service sectors of the economy. Once we understand that disease, he explains, effective responses become apparent.
Baumol presents his analysis with characteristic clarity, tracing the fast-rising prices of health care and education in the U.S. and other major industrial nations, then examining the underlying causes of the phenomenon, which have to do with the nature of providing labor-intensive services. The news is good, Baumol reassures, because the nature of the disease is such that society will be able to afford the rising costs.
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The authors demonstrate that the banal observation that labor intensive services consume increasing fractions of our economy is not a matter of concern. The productivity growth of the rest of the economy allows us to afford all of such services we may want. This insight carries important implications for correct policy choices. My only criticism: I wish the book had addressed the question of how to assure that the benefits of productivity gains in the economy at large accrue to wider segments of the general populace.