Incomes & the Cost of a Colonoscopy across US Cities

I’m a bit late to posting this since I had my qualifying exams on Monday, but I saw this map for the front page story of this Sunday’s NYTimes and thought it was interesting. It shows how much the cost of colonoscopies vary across cities in the US. I couldn’t help but notice the rough correlation with city incomes. This correlation isn’t perfect (e.g. San Francisco is only $4,849 while Billings Mont. is almost $6K) but on average it seems that higher income places have higher costs, which is consistent with the idea that high income places have especially productive non-health sectors, high labor and corporate real estate costs, and that Baumol’s cost disease is contributing to some of the growth in healthcare expenditures on the supply side. For more on variation in regional healthcare prices, see this post – the last graph shows the link between average prices and local incomes.

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 11.45.00 AM

About ozidar

I'm an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Faculty Research Fellow at National Bureau of Economic Research. You can follow me on twitter @omzidar.
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