The Cost Disease Why Some Things Keep Getting More Expensive - and Why it's Not the Problem We Think it is William J. Baumol, Monte Malach, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Lilian Gomory Wu
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- Publication date:
- 14 Sep 2012
- 272 pages: 210 x 140 x 28mm
- 20 black-&-white illustrations
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 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 labour-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.
William 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 is the author of more than forty books, has been awarded a dozen honorary degrees, and is a member of several honorary societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and Galileo's Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome.
'The book is a necessary read for anyone who is engaged in health-care costs – one of the most crucial policy issues facing society today.' Richard Sullivan, Lancet Oncology
'It’s a testament to Professor Baumol’s lucid prose, though, that economists and noneconomists alike will find it easy to grasp his surprisingly comforting argument for why we shouldn’t panic. . . .This book is a quick read, packed with charts and case studies. But it is the author’s command of storytelling that makes it not just digestible but also enjoyable.' Amy Wallace, The New York Times