What Can Economics Say About Alzheimer&Apos;S Disease?

56 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020 Last revised: 4 Aug 2021

See all articles by Amitabh Chandra

Amitabh Chandra

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Courtney Coile

Wellesley College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Corina Mommaerts

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affects one in ten people aged 65 or older and is the most expensive disease in the United States. We describe the central economic questions raised by AD. Although there is overlap with the economics of aging and health, the defining feature of the “economics of Alzheimer’s Disease” is an emphasis on choice by cognitively impaired patients that affects health and financial well-being, and situations in which dynamic contracts between patients and caregivers are useful but difficult to enforce. A focus on innovation in AD prevention, treatment, and care is also critical given the enormous social cost of AD and present lack of understanding of its causes, which raises questions of optimal resource allocation and alignment of private and social incentives. The enormous scope for economists to contribute to our understanding of AD-related issues including drug development, efficient care delivery, dynamic contracting, long-term care risk, financial decision-making, and the design of public programs for AD suggests a rich research program for many areas of economics.

Suggested Citation

Chandra, Amitabh and Coile, Courtney and Mommaerts, Corina, What Can Economics Say About Alzheimer&Apos;S Disease? (August 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27760, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3683644

Amitabh Chandra (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Courtney Coile

Wellesley College ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Corina Mommaerts

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

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Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

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