Does the Healthcare Educational Market Respond to Short-Run Local Demand?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased demand for healthcare across the U.S., but it is unclear if or how the supply side has responded to meet this demand. In this paper, we take advantage of plausibly exogenous geographical heterogeneity in the ACA to examine the healthcare education sector’s response to increased demand for healthcare services. We look across educational fields, types of degrees, and types of institutions, paying particular attention to settings where our conceptual model predicts heightened responses. We find no statistically significant evidence of increases in graduates and can rule out fairly modest effects. This implies that healthcare production may have adjusted to increased demand from insurance expansion in other ways rather than primarily through new graduates of local healthcare educational markets.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26088