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The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs

Adriana Lleras-Muney and Frank Lichtenberg ()

No 9185, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

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 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 more educated are better able to learn from experience.

JEL-codes: I12 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Date: 2002-09
Note: HC HE
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Published as Lleras-Muney, Adriana and Frank Lichtenberg. “The Effect Of Education On Medical Technology Adoption: Are The More Educated More Likely To Use New Drugs?" Annales d’Economie et Statistique in memory of Zvi Griliches 79/80 (2006).

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