The Economic Value of Medical Research

  title={The Economic Value of Medical Research},
  author={Kevin M. Murphy and Robert H. Topel},
Basic research is a public good, for which social returns may greatly exceed private ones. This paper develops an economic framework for evaluating the social benefits of medical research. We begin with a model of the economic value of health and life expectancy, which we apply to US data on overall and disease-specific mortality rates. We calculate (i) the social value of increased longevity that took place from 1970 to 1990 and, (ii) the social value of potential future progress against… 

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