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Productivity Dispersion in Medicine and Manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Amitabh Chandra
  • Amy Finkelstein
  • Adam Sacarny
  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

The conventional wisdom in health economics is that large differences in average productivity across US hospitals are the result of idiosyncratic features of the healthcare sector which dull the role of market forces. Strikingly, however, we find that productivity dispersion in heart attack treatment across hospitals is, if anything, smaller than in narrowly defined manufacturing industries such as ready-mixed concrete. While this fact admits multiple interpretations, it suggests that healthcare may have more in common with "traditional" sectors than is often assumed, and relatedly, that insights from research on productivity and allocation in other sectors may enrich analysis of healthcare.

Suggested Citation

  • Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2016. "Productivity Dispersion in Medicine and Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 99-103, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:5:p:99-103
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20161024
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
    2. Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2016. "Health Care Exceptionalism? Performance and Allocation in the US Health Care Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2110-2144, August.
    3. Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector," NBER Working Papers 19200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
    5. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sacarny, Adam, 2018. "Adoption and learning across hospitals: The case of a revenue-generating practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 142-164.
    2. Li, Yan & Zhang, Qi & Wang, Ge & McLellan, Benjamin & Liu, Xue Fei & Wang, Le, 2018. "A review of photovoltaic poverty alleviation projects in China: Current status, challenge and policy recommendations," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 214-223.
    3. Amitabh Chandra & Douglas O. Staiger, 2017. "Identifying Sources of Inefficiency in Health Care," NBER Working Papers 24035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Manhal Ali & Reza Salehnejad & Mohaimen Mansur, 2018. "Hospital heterogeneity: what drives the quality of health care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(3), pages 385-408, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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