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Cover for The Cost Disease

The Cost Disease

Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't

William J. Baumol, David De Farranti (Contribution by), Monte Malach (Contribution by)

Hardcover

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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/24/2013)

Description

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, the 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 United States and other major industrial nations, then examining the underlying causes, which have to do with the nature of providing labor-intensive services. The news is good, Baumol reassures us, because the nature of the disease is such that society will be able to afford the rising costs.

Yale University Press, 9780300179286, 249pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 2012



About the Author

William J. Baumol is professor of economics and academic director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, New York University, and professor emeritus, Princeton University. He lives in New York City.