, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 741–761 | Cite as

Technological innovation and inequality in health

  • Sherry Glied
  • Adriana Lleras-Muney


The effect of education on health has been increasing over the past several decades. We hypothesize that this increasing disparity is related to health-related technical progress: more-educated people are the first to take advantage of technological advances that improve health. We test this hypothesis using data on disease-specific mortality rates for 1980 and 1990, and cancer registry data for 1973–1993. We estimate education gradients in mortality using compulsory schooling as a measure of education. We then relate these gradients to two measures of health-related innovation: the number of active drug ingredients available to treat a disease, and the rate of change in mortality from that disease. We find that more-educated individuals have a greater survival advantage in those diseases for which there has been more health-related technological progress.


NBER Working Paper Linear Probability Model Coef Cients Drug Measure Education Gradient 
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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry Glied
    • 1
  • Adriana Lleras-Muney
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy and Management Department of Economics, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Economics Department and Woodrow Wilson SchoolPrinceton

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