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The Role of Hospital Heterogeneity in Measuring Marginal Returns to Medical Care: A Reply to Barreca, Guldi, Lindo, and Waddell

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  • Douglas Almond
  • Joseph J. Doyle
  • Amanda E. Kowalski
  • Heidi Williams

Abstract

In , we describe how marginal returns to medical care can be estimated by comparing patients on either side of diagnostic thresholds. Our application examines at-risk newborns near the very low birth weight threshold at 1500 g. We estimate large discontinuities in medical care and mortality at this threshold, with effects concentrated at "low-quality" hospitals. Although our preferred estimates retain newborns near the threshold, when they are excluded the estimated marginal returns decline, although they remain large. In low-quality hospitals, our estimates are similar in magnitude regardless of whether these newborns are included or excluded. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjr037
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 126 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 2125-2131

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Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:4:p:2125-2131

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