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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.
About the Author
William J. Baumol received his B.S.S. at the College of the City of New York and his Ph.D. at the University of London. He is professor of economics at New York University and senior research economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University. He is a frequent management consultant to major firms in a wide variety of industries in the United States and other countries as well as to a number of governmental agencies. He has been president of the American Economic Association, and three other professional societies. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, created by the U.S. Congress, and a member of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin. Dr. Baumol is the author of more than 35 books as well as hundreds of journal and newspaper articles that have been translated into more than a dozen languages.