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Frank A. Sloan

Frank Sloan is J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics at Duke University. A leader in the field of health economics for more than thirty years, he is coauthor of The Price of Smoking (2004) and Medical Malpractice (2008) and coeditor of Incentives and Choices in Health Care (2008), all published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

This book introduces students to the growing research field of health economics. Rather than offer details about health systems around the world without providing a theoretical context, Health Economics combines economic concepts with empirical evidence to enhance readers’ economic understanding of how health care institutions and markets function. It views the subject in both microeconomic and macroeconomic terms, moving from the individual and firm level to the market level to a macroeconomic view of the role of health and health care within the economy as a whole.

The book includes discussion of recent empirical evidence on the U.S. health system and can be used for an undergraduate course on U.S. health economics. It also contains sufficient material for an undergraduate or masters course on global health economics, or for a course on health economics aimed at health professionals. It includes a chapter on nurses as well as a chapter on the economics of hospitals and pharmaceuticals, which can be used in master’s courses for students in these fields. It supplements its analysis with readings (both classic and current), extensive references, links to Web sites on policy developments and public programs, review and discussion questions, and exercises. Downloadable supplementary material for instructors, including solutions to the exercise sets, sample syllabuses, and more than 600 slides that can be used for class presentations, is available at http://mitpress.mit.edu/health_economics. A student solutions manual with answers to the odd-numbered exercises is also available.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: instuctor's manual, slides, and file of figures in the book

Most experts would agree that the current medical malpractice system in the United States does not work effectively either to compensate victims fairly or prevent injuries caused by medical errors. Policy responses to a series of medical malpractice crises have not resulted in effective reform and have not altered the fundamental incentives of the stakeholders. In Medical Malpractice, economist Frank Sloan and lawyer Lindsey Chepke examine the U.S. medical malpractice process from legal, medical, economic, and insurance perspectives, analyze past efforts at reform, and offer realistic, achievable policy recommendations. They review the considerable empirical evidence in a balanced fashion and assess objectively what works in the current system and what does not. Sloan and Chepke argue that the complexity of medical malpractice stems largely from the interaction of the four discrete markets that determine outcomes--legal, medical malpractice insurance, medical care, and government activity. After describing what the evidence shows about the functioning of medical malpractice, types of defensive medicine, and the effects of past reforms, they examine such topics as scheduling damages as an alternative to flat caps, jury behavior, health courts, incentives to prevent medical errors, insurance regulation, reinsurance, no-fault insurance, and suggestions for future reforms. Medical Malpractice is the most comprehensive treatment of malpractice available, integrating findings from several different areas of research and describing them accessibly in nontechnical language. It will be an essential reference for anyone interested in medical malpractice.Frank A. Sloan is J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Economics at Duke University. He is the coauthor of The Price of Smoking (MIT Press, 2004) and author or editor of many other books on health economics. Lindsey M. Chepke, an attorney, is a Research Associate at the Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

What does a pack of cigarettes cost a smoker, the smoker's family, and society? This longitudinal study on the private and social costs of smoking calculates that the cost of smoking to a 24-year-old woman smoker is $86,000 over a lifetime; for a 24-year-old male smoker the cost is $183,000. The total social cost of smoking over a lifetime -- including both private costs to the smoker and costs imposed on others (including second-hand smoke and costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) -- comes to $106,000 for a woman and $220,000 for a man. The cost per pack over a lifetime of smoking: almost $40.00. The first study to quantify the cost of smoking in this way, or in such depth, this accessible book not only adds a weapon to the arsenal of antismoking messages but also provides a framework for assessment that can be applied to other health behaviors. The findings on the effects of smoking on Medicare and Medicaid will be surprising and perhaps controversial, for the authors estimate the costs to be much lower than the damage awards being paid to 46 states as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.

Health Economics combines economic concepts with empirical evidence to enhance students’ economic understanding of how health care institutions and markets function. It views the subject in both microeconomic and macroeconomic terms, moving from the individual and firm level to the market level to a macroeconomic view of the role of health and health care within the economy as a whole.

This student solutions manual for Health Economics provides answers to the odd-numbered exercises.

Titles by This Editor

A vast body of empirical evidence has accumulated demonstrating that incentives affect health care choices made by both consumers and suppliers of health care services. Decisions in health care are affected by many types of incentives, such as the rate of return pharmaceutical manufacturers expect on their investments in research and development, or disincentives, such as increases in the copayments patients must make when they visit physicians or are admitted to hospitals.

In this volume, leading scholars in health economics review these new and important results and describe their own recent research assessing the role of incentives in health care markets and decisions people make that affect their personal health. The contexts include demand decisions—choices made by individuals about health care services they consume and the health insurance policies they purchase—and supply decisions made by medical students, practicing physicians, hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Researchers and students of health economics and policy makers will find this book a valuable resource, both for learning economic concepts, particularly as they apply to health care, and for reading up-to-date summaries of the empirical evidence. General readers will find the book's chapters accessible, interesting, and useful for gaining an understanding of the likely effects of alternative health care policies.

Contributors:
Henry J. Aaron, Ernst R. Berndt, John Cawley, Julie M. Donohue, Donna Gilleskie, Brian R. Golden, Gautam Gowrisankaran, Chee-Ruey Hsieh, Hirschel Kasper, Thomas G. McGuire, Joseph P. Newhouse, Sean Nicholson, Mark V. Pauly, Anna D. Sinaiko, Frank Sloan