NBER Working Papers by Ryan C. McDevitt

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Working Papers

September 2016Strategic Patient Discharge: The Case of Long-Term Care Hospitals
with Paul J. Eliason, Paul L. E. Grieco, James W. Roberts: w22598
Medicare's prospective payment system for long-term acute-care hospitals (LTCHs) gives providers modest reimbursements for short patient stays before jumping discontinuously to a large lump-sum payment after a pre-specified number of days. Using Medicare claims data, we show that LTCHs strategically discharge patients after they exceed the large-payment threshold. We find this behavior is more common among for-profit facilities, facilities acquired by leading LTCH chains, and facilities located within standard acute-care hospitals. Using a dynamic structural model, we evaluate counterfactual payment policies recently considered as alternatives for the existing scheme and find that they would provide substantial savings for CMS.
July 2010Evidence of a Modest Price Decline in US Broadband Services
with Shane Greenstein: w16166
In this paper, we construct a price index for broadband services in the United States between 2004 and 2009. We analyze over 1500 service contracts offered by DSL and cable providers in the United States. We employ a mix of matched-model methods and hedonic price index estimations to adjust for qualitative improvements. In general, we find some evidence of a quality-adjusted price decline, but the evidence points towards a modest decline at most. Our estimates of the price decline range from 3% to 10% in quality-adjusted terms for the five-year period, which is faster than the BLS estimates for the last three years. These modest price declines look nothing like other parts of electronics, such as computers or integrated circuits, which raises many questions. The results also inform a range...

Published: Greenstein, Shane & McDevitt, Ryan, 2011. "Evidence of a modest price decline in US broadband services," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 200-211, June. citation courtesy of

February 2009The Broadband Bonus: Accounting for Broadband Internet's Impact on U.S. GDP
with Shane Greenstein: w14758
How much economic value did the diffusion of broadband create? We provide benchmark estimates for 1999 to 2006. We observe $39 billion of total revenue in Internet access in 2006, with broadband accounting for $28 billion of this total. Depending on the estimate, households generated $20 to $22 billion of the broadband revenue. Approximately $8.3 to $10.6 billion was additional revenue created between 1999 and 2006. That replacement is associated with $4.8 to $6.7 billion in consumer surplus, which is not measured via Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An Internet-access Consumer Price Index (CPI) would have to decline by 1.6% to 2.2% per year for it to reflect the creation of value. These estimates both differ substantially from those typically quoted in Washington policy discussions, and they...

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