NBER Working Papers by Nancy Beaulieu

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Working Papers

September 2011Human Capital and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector
with Ann P. Bartel, Ciaran S. Phibbs, Patricia Stone: w17474
This paper contributes to the literature on the relationship between human capital and organizational performance. We use detailed longitudinal monthly data on nursing units in the Veterans Administration hospital system to identify how the human capital (general, hospital-specific and unit or team-specific) of the nursing team on the unit affects patients' outcomes. Since we use monthly, not annual, data, we are able to avoid the omitted variable bias and endogeneity bias that could result when annual data are used. Nurse staffing levels, general human capital, and unit-specific human capital have positive and significant effects on patient outcomes while the use of contract nurses, who have less specific capital than regular staff nurses, negatively impacts patient outcomes. Policies...

Published: “Human Capital and Productivity in a Team Environment: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector” (with Nancy Beaulieu, Ciaran Phibbs and Patricia Stone), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, April 2014.

December 2003Health Plan Conversions: Are They in the Public Interest?
Recently, not-for-profit health plans have been converting to for-profit status and these conversions have frequently occurred as steps to facilitate merger or acquisition with a for-profit company. Some industry observers attribute these managed care market place trends to an industry shake out resulting from increased competition in the sector. At the same time, the perceived competitive pressures have led to questions about the long run viability of non-profit health plans. Furthermore, some industry and government leaders believe that some non-profits are already conducting themselves like for-profit health plans and question the state premium tax exemption ordinarily accorded to such plans. This paper develops a framework for evaluating health plan conversions and examines related...


  • Nancy Dean Beaulieu, 2004. "An Economic Analysis of Health Plan Conversions: Are They in the Public Interest?," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 7, pages 129-177 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Beaulieu, Nancy Dean. "An Economic Analysis Of Health Plan Conversions: Are They In The Public Interest?," Forum for Health Economics and Policy, 2004, v7, Article 6.

October 2003Selection and Improvement: Physician Responses to Financial Incentives
with Jason Barro: w10017
In this study we examine the effects of transferring physicians from a compensation system based on salary to a profit-sharing system. Consistent with theory, we find that the change has a large and significant effect on the quantity of services provided. In addition, we find a selection effect, where the least productive doctors leave the company and more productive doctors join.

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