NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Adam Sacarny

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Working Papers

October 2015Healthcare Exceptionalism? Performance and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector
with Amitabh Chandra, Amy Finkelstein, Chad Syverson: w21603
The conventional wisdom in health economics is that idiosyncratic features of the healthcare sector leave little scope for market forces to allocate consumers to higher performance producers. However, we find robust evidence across a variety of conditions and performance measures that higher quality hospitals tend to have higher market shares at a point in time and expand more over time. Moreover, we find that the relationship between performance and allocation is stronger among patients who have greater scope for hospital choice, suggesting a role for patient demand in allocation in the hospital sector. Our findings suggest that the healthcare sector may have more in common with “traditional” sectors subject to standard market forces than is often assumed.
July 2013Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector
with Amitabh Chandra, Amy Finkelstein, Chad Syverson: w19200
The conventional wisdom in health economics is that large differences in average productivity across hospitals are the result of idiosyncratic, institutional features of the healthcare sector which dull the role of market forces. Strikingly, however, we find that productivity dispersion in heart attack treatment across hospitals is, if anything, smaller than in narrowly defined manufacturing industries such as ready-mixed concrete. While this fact admits multiple interpretations, we also find evidence against the conventional wisdom that the healthcare sector does not operate like an industry subject to standard market forces. In particular, we find that hospitals that are more productive at treating heart attacks have higher market shares at a point in time and are more likely to expand ...

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