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Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State

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  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Samuel A. Kleiner

Abstract

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. (JEL H75, I11, I12, J52)

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 127-57

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:1:p:127-57

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.1.127
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  1. George R. Neumann, 1980. "The predictability of strikes: Evidence from the stock market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 525-535, July.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Samuel A. Kleiner, 2012. "Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 127-57, February.
  3. John Geweke & Gautam Gowrisankaran & Robert J. Town, 2001. "Bayesian Inference for Hospital Quality in a Selection Model," NBER Working Papers 8497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Alexandre Mas, 2002. "Strikes, Scabs and Tread Separations: Labor Strife and the Production of Defective Bridgestone/Firestone Tires," Working Papers 125, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Cramton, Peter & Tracy, Joseph, 1998. "The Use of Replacement Workers in Union Contract Negotiations: The U.S. Experience, 1980-1989," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 667-701, October.
  6. Andrew Cook & Martin Gaynor & Melvin Stephens, Jr. & Lowell Taylor, 2010. "The Effect of Hospital Nurse Staffing on Patient Health Outcomes: Evidence from California's Minimum Staffing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 16077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alexandre Mas, 2008. "Labour Unrest and the Quality of Production: Evidence from the Construction Equipment Resale Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 229-258.
  8. Ho, Vivian & Hamilton, Barton H., 2000. "Hospital mergers and acquisitions: does market consolidation harm patients?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 767-791, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Kolstad, Jonathan T. & Kowalski, Amanda E., 2012. "The impact of health care reform on hospital and preventive care: Evidence from Massachusetts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 909-929.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Samuel A. Kleiner, 2010. "Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State," NBER Working Papers 15855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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