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Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs?

Adriana Lleras-Muney and Frank Lichtenberg ()

Annals of Economics and Statistics, 2005, issue 79-80, 671-696

Abstract: There is a large body of work that documents a strong, positive correlation between education and measures of health, but little is known about the mechanisms by which education might affect health. One possibility is that more educated individuals are more likely to adopt new medical technologies. We investigate this theory by asking whether more educated people are more likely to use newer drugs, while controlling for other individual characteristics, such as income and insurance status. Using the 1997 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we find that more highly educated people are more likely to use drugs more recently approved by the FDA. We find that education only matters for individuals who repeatedly purchase drugs for a given condition, suggesting that the cost of searching for higher-quality treatments is lower for more educated people.

Date: 2005
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Chapter: Are the More Educated More LIkely to Use New Drugs? (2010)
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