Cutler, David M, and Grant Miller. 2005. “The Role of Public Health Improvements in Health Advances: The 20th Century United States.” Demography 42 (1): 1-22.Abstract

Mortality rates in the US fell more rapidly during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries than any other period in American history. This decline coincided with an epidemiological transition and the disappearance of a mortality “penalty” associated with living in urban areas. There is little empirical evidence and much unresolved debate about what caused these improvements, however. This paper investigates the causal influence of clean water technologies – filtration and chlorination – on mortality in major cities during the early 20th Century. Plausibly exogenous variation in the timing and location of technology adoption is used to identify these effects, and the validity of this identifying assumption is examined in detail. We find that clean water was responsible for nearly half of the total mortality reduction in major cities, three-quarters of the infant mortality reduction, and nearly two-thirds of the child mortality reduction. Rough calculations suggest that the social rate of return to these technologies was greater than 23 to 1 with a cost per life-year saved by clean water of about $500 in 2003 dollars. Implications for developing countries are briefly considered.

Cutler, David M. 2004. “Technical Appendix for "Your Money or Your Life".” David M. Cutler. pdf
Cutler, David, Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Theresa L Osypuk, Rebecca E Werbel, Ellen R Meara, and Lisa F Berkman. 2004. “Does Housing Mobility Policy Improve Health?.” Housing Policy Debate 15 (1): 49-98.
Cutler, David, Jay Bhattacharya, Dana Goldman, Michael Hurd, Geoffrey Joyce, Darius Lakdawalla, Constantijn Panis, and Baoping Shang. 2004. “Disability Forecasts and Future Medicare Costs.” Forum for Health Economics and Policy 7. Website
Cutler, David, and Richard Johnson. 2004. “The Birth and Growth of the Social Insurance State.” Public Choice 120 (1,2): 87-121. PDF
Cutler, David, Robert Huckman, and Mary Beth Landrum. 2004. “The Role of Information in Medical Markets: An Analysis of Publicly Reported Outcomes in Cardiac Surgery.” American Economic Revie 94 (2): 342-346. PDF
Cutler, David. 2004. “Behavioral Health Interventions: What Works and Why?.” Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life: A Research Agenda, edited by Randy Bulatao and Norman Anderson. D.C.: National Academies Press. Website
Cutler, David, Ellen Meara, and Chapin White. 2004. “Trends in Medical Spending by Age, 1963-2000.” Health Affairs 23 (4): 176-183. Website
Cutler, David. 2004. “Are the Benefits of Medicine Worth What We Pay for It?”. PDF
Cutler, David M, and Alan Garber. 2004. Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 7. Berkeley Electronic Press. Website
Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System
Cutler, David M. 2004. Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. Website

"Cutler has paved the way for a unique new understanding of health care in America: policy makers and providers should focus on increasing the value of dollars spent rather than rehashing the tired distinction between cutting costs and paying more. For everyone interested in improving health care in the United States, this is original and inspiring – actually, indispensable." - Bill Bradley

“David Cutler’s Your Money or Your Life is a thoughtful analysis of the problems afflicting our health care system. His creative proposals will interest every citizen concerned about improving American health care.” - Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Senator, Massachusetts

"This highly-readable volume explores all of the major issues that confront us as we attempt to improve America's health care system. David Cutler provides a clear and concise guide to how one should think about the costs and benefits of health care, the value of medical advances, and options for reforming the health care system. This is the book to buy if you want to understand how we can improve health care in America." - Robert D. Reischauer, President, The Urban Institute

“Cutler presents a refreshingly optimistic path for the future of America’s health care system – promoting policies focused on increasing the value of medical services and improving health outcomes. He finds over and over that while health care expenditures are significant, we get a great deal more in return. His work is a major contribution to what I believe will become an increasingly interesting and important debate – is more medical spending necessarily bad?” - Art Collins, Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, Inc.

David Cutler's Your Money or Your Life flatly refutes the proposition that good economics has to be a difficult slog through arcane tables, charts, and mathematics. In 123 absorbing pages he shows readers why the gains from improved health care vastly exceed its formidable costs and how the gains could be larger still. In so doing, he demonstrates that good economic analysis can contribute constructively to debate on public policy---and quote Euripides aptly at the same time!" - Henry J. Aaron, The Brookings Institution

"David Cutler's upbeat book delivers a welcome message to a public wearied by reports of medical errors, the rising number of uninsured, and the relentless growth in medical expenditures. . . . Anyone with a serious interest in the U.S. health care system - and its future - should read this engaging and provocative book by one of the most insightful health policy experts in the nation." - Alan Garber, Center for Health Policy, Stanford University

"Cutler's discussion of managed care and how doctors are reimbursed for certain procedures but discouraged from other practices is especially clear. Cutler's position-health insurance for all and doctor reimbursement by quality, not simply service-is clear and compelling." - Publishers Weekly, 11-3-03

"When economics and medicine mix there is bound to be confusion unless someone like Harvard economics professor Cutler, who seems to effortlessly make a complex issue comprehensible, is doing the mixing.... An elegant investigation." - Booklist, 12-15-03

"It's also important for readers to understand the cost effectiveness behind developments in treating such conditions as cardiovascular disease, infant mortality and mental illness; chapters devoted to these are the best material in Cutler's book. His case studies are well researched and offer a tremendous amount of information about medical history and its economic significance." - Los Angeles Times, 2-25-04

Cutler, David M, and Richard Zeckhauser. 2004. “Extending the Theory to Meet the Practice of Insurance.” Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, 2004, edited by Robert Litan and Richard Herring. Washington DC: Brookings Institution. PDF
Cutler, David, and Ellen Meara. 2003. “Changes in the Age Distribution of Mortality over the 20th Century.” Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, edited by David Wise. University of Chicago Press. Website
Cutler, David, and Srikanth Kadiyala. 2003. “The Return to Biomedical Research: Treatment and Behavioral Effects.” Measuring the Gains from Medical Research, edited by Robert Topel and Kevin Murphy. University of Chicago Press. Website
Cutler, David, Daniel Altman, and Richard Zeckhauser. 2003. “Enrollee Mix, Treatment Intensity, and Cost in Competing Indemnity and HMO Plans.” Journal of Health Economic 22 (1): 23-45.
Cutler, David, and Robert Huckman. 2003. “Technological Development and Medical Productivity: The Diffusion of Angioplasty in New York State.” Journal of Health Economics 22 (2): 187-217. PDF
Cutler, David. 2003. “Employee Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage.” Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6, edited by David Cutler and Alan Garber. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Cutler, David, Michael Chernew, and Richard Hirth. 2003. “Increased Spending on Health Care: How Much Can the United States Afford?.” Health Affairs 22 (4). PDF
Cutler, David. 2003. “A Framework for Evaluating Medical Care Systems.” A Disease-Based Comparison of Health Systems: What Is Best and At What Cost? D.C.: OECD. Website
Cutler, David. 2003. “Supplementing Public Insurance Coverage with Private Coverage: Implications for Medical Care Systems.” Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, edited by Seiritsu Ogura, Toshiaki Tachibanaki, and David Wise. University of Chicago Press. Website