IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Distance to Hospitals and Children's Access to Care: Is Being Closer Better, and for Whom?

Listed author(s):
  • Janet Currie
  • Patricia Reagan

Distance to hospital may affect the utilization of primary preventative care if children rely on hospitals for such routine care. We explore this question using matched data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth's Child-Mother file and the American Hospital Association's 1990 Hospital Survey. Our measure of preventative care is whether or not a child has received a regular checkup in the past year. We find that distance to hospital has significant effects on the utilization of preventative care among central-city black children. For these children, each additional mile from the hospital is associated with a 3 percent decline in the probability of having had a checkup (from a mean baseline of 74 percent). This effect can be compared to the 3 percent increase in the probability of having a checkup which is associated with having private health insurance coverage. The size of this effect is similar for both the privately insured and those with Medicaid coverage, suggesting that even black urban children with private health insurance may have difficulty obtaining access to preventative care. In contrast, we find little evidence of a negative distance effect among white or Hispanic central-city children, suburban children, or rural children.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6836.

in new window

Date of creation: Dec 1998
Publication status: published as Currie, Janet and Patricia B. Reagan. "Distance To Hospital And Children's Use Of Preventive Care: Is Being Closer Better, And For Whom?," Economic Inquiry, 2003, v41(3,Jul), 378-391.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6836
Note: HC CH
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 1, pages 77-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Neal Halfon & Paul W. Newacheck & David L. Wood & Robert F. St. Peter, "undated". "Routine Emergency Department Use for Sick Care by Children in the United States," Mathematica Policy Research Reports b05babd5b7da4aebb07ab0bb8, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1995. "Medical Care for Children: Public Insurance, Private Insurance, and Racial Differences in Utilization," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 135-162.
  4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:4:550-552_7 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Cutler David M. & Sheiner Louise, 1998. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-41, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6836. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.