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Forgetting the learning curve for a moment: how much performance is un related to own experience?

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  • Marco D. Huesch

    (Policy Academic Area, The Anderson Graduate School of Management, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

  • Mariko Sakakibara

    (Policy Academic Area, The Anderson Graduate School of Management, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Abstract

Volume-outcome relationships are of clear importance for most participants in the health-care industry; research and appropriate policy implications are of critical importance. In this letter we critique the prevailing 'learning-by-doing' view in cardiac surgery. We illustrate the very wide disparity in empirical findings on volume-outcome relationships there, in the context of broader open issues in 'learning curves' in general. Potential complementary mechanisms, e.g. 'social learning by knowledge spillovers' are introduced; these cast into doubt the prevailing policy recommendations of simple regionalization and volume smoothing. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco D. Huesch & Mariko Sakakibara, 2009. "Forgetting the learning curve for a moment: how much performance is un related to own experience?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 855-862.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:7:p:855-862
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1412
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Samuel Hollander, 1965. "The Sources of Increased Efficiency: A Study of DuPont Rayon Plants," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258235x, January.
    6. Ray Reagans & Linda Argote & Daria Brooks, 2005. "Individual Experience and Experience Working Together: Predicting Learning Rates from Knowing Who Knows What and Knowing How to Work Together," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(6), pages 869-881, June.
    7. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
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    9. Gary P. Pisano & Richard M.J. Bohmer & Amy C. Edmondson, 2001. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(6), pages 752-768, June.
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    11. Martin Gaynor & Harald Seider & William B. Vogt, 2005. "The Volume–Outcome Effect, Scale Economies, and Learning-by-Doing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 243-247, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaynor, Martin & Town, Robert J., 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier.
    2. repec:spr:aphecp:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s40258-017-0335-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gestel, R.V. & Müller, T. & Bosmans, J., 2016. "Does My High Blood Pressure Improve Your Survival? Overall and Subgroup Learning Curves in Health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Stock, Gregory N. & McDermott, Christopher & Anand, Gopesh, 2016. "Average surgeon-level volume and hospital performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 253-262.

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