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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)

Suggested Citation

  • 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 127-157, February.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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 127-157, February.
    2. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2017. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, February.
    3. Benjamin U. Friedrich & Martin B. Hackmann, 2017. "The Returns to Nursing: Evidence from a Parental Leave Program," NBER Working Papers 23174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Michael DiNardi, 2017. "Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions and the Impact on Nurses," 2017 Papers pdi509, Job Market Papers.
    6. Piérard, Emmanuelle, 2014. "The effect of physician supply on health status: Canadian evidence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 56-65.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation

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