Reading list

Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State, by Jonathan Gruber and Samuel A. Kleiner (American Economic Association)

Hospitals now represent one of the largest union sectors of the US economy, and there is particular concern about the impact of strikes on patient welfare. We analyze the effects of nurses’ strikes in hospitals on patient outcomes in New York State. Controlling for hospital specific heterogeneity, the results show that nurses’ strikes increase in-hospital mortality by 18.3 percent and 30-day readmission by 5.7 percent for patients admitted during a strike, with little change in patient demographics, disease severity or treatment intensity. The results suggest that hospitals functioning during nurses’ strikes do so at a lower quality of patient care.

The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on the Use of Medical Services, by Michael Anderson, Carlos Dobkin and Tal Gross (American Economic Association)

Substantial uncertainty exists regarding the causal effect of health insurance on the utilization of care. We exploit a sharp change in insurance coverage rates that results from young adults “aging out” of their parents’ insurance plans to estimate the effect of insurance coverage on the utilization of emergency department (ED) and inpatient services. Aging out results in an abrupt 5 to 8 percentage point reduction in the probability of having health insurance. We find that uninsured status leads to a 40 percent reduction in ED visits and a 61 percent reduction in inpatient hospital admissions.

The Perpetual Challenge of Infectious Diseases, by Anthony S. Fauci and David M. Morens (The  New England Journal of Medicine)

Keeping Score under a Global Payment System, by Bruce E. Landon (The New England Journal of Medicine

Divide et Impera: Protecting the Growth of Health Care Incomes (Costs), by Uwe Reinhardt (Health Economics)


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