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Distance to Hospital and Children's Use of Preventive Care: Is Being Closer Better, and for Whom?


  • Janet Currie
  • Patricia B. Reagan


This article examines the effect of distance to hospital on preventive care among children using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth's Child-Mother file matched to data from the 1990 American Hospital Association Survey. Among central-city black children, each additional mile from the hospital is associated with a 3-percentage-point decline in the probability of having had a checkup (from a mean baseline of 74%). Moreover, the effects are similar for privately and publicly insured black children. For this group, access to providers is as important as private insurance coverage in predicting use of preventive care. (JEL I1) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Patricia B. Reagan, 2003. "Distance to Hospital and Children's Use of Preventive Care: Is Being Closer Better, and for Whom?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 378-391, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:378-391

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:75-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Jacobson, Mireille & Wold, Cheryl, 2006. "How far to the hospital?: The effect of hospital closures on access to care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 740-761, July.
    3. Avdic, Daniel, 2016. "Improving efficiency or impairing access? Health care consolidation and quality of care: Evidence from emergency hospital closures in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 44-60.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:34737827 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2017. "The life‐saving effect of hospital proximity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26, pages 78-91, September.
    6. Cesur, Resul & Güneş, Pınar Mine & Tekin, Erdal & Ulker, Aydogan, 2017. "The value of socialized medicine: The impact of universal primary healthcare provision on mortality rates in Turkey," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 75-93.
    7. Fredrick Manang & Chikako Yamauchi, 2015. "The impact of access to health facilities on maternal care use and health status: Evidence from longitudinal data from rural Uganda," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-19, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    8. repec:eee:soceps:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. M. Kate Bundorf & Laurence Baker & Sara Singer & Todd Wagner, 2004. "Consumer Demand for Health Information on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Avdic, Danie, 2015. "A matter of life and death? Hospital distance and quality of care: evidence from emergency hospital closures and myocardial infarctions," Working Paper Series 2015:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    11. Cesur, Resul & Güneş, Pınar Mine & Tekin, Erdal & Ulker, Aydogan, 2015. "The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 9329, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Mark Burkey, 2012. "Decomposing geographic accessibility into component parts: methods and an application to hospitals," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(3), pages 783-800, June.
    13. Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "WIC in your neighborhood: New evidence on the impacts of geographic access to clinics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 51-69.
    14. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
    15. Burkey, M.L. & Bhadury, J. & Eiselt, H.A., 2012. "A location-based comparison of health care services in four U.S. states with efficiency and equity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 157-163.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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