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After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays

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  • Douglas Almond
  • Joseph J. Doyle
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    Abstract

    Estimates of moral hazard in health insurance markets can be confounded by adverse selection. This paper considers a plausibly exogenous source of variation in insurance coverage for childbirth in California. We find that additional health insurance coverage induces substantial extensions in length of hospital stay for mother and newborn. However, remaining in the hospital longer has no effect on readmissions or mortality, and the estimates are precise. Our results suggest that for uncomplicated births, minimum insurance mandates incur substantial costs without detectable health benefits. (JEL D82, G22, I12, I18, J13)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 1-34

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:1-34

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.3.1
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    Cited by:
    1. N. Meltem Daysal & Mircea Trandafir & Reyn van Ewijk, 2012. "Saving Lives at Birth: The Impact of Home Births on Infant Outcomes," Cahiers de recherche 12-11, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
    2. Meng, Lingsheng, 2013. "Evaluating China's poverty alleviation program: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-11.
    3. Fe, Eduardo, 2012. "Efficient estimation in regression discontinuity designs via asymmetric kernels," MPRA Paper 38164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2013. "Returns to Childbirth Technologies: Evidence from Preterm Births," IZA Discussion Papers 7834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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