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Impact of Specialization on Health Outcomes – Evidence from U.S. Cancer Data

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Johannes Schoder

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

There have been many studies of the volume-outcome relationship. In all of these, the unit of analysis is the hospital or physician. However, this level of analysis is mostly limited to the use of in-hospital mortality rates and is particularly sensitive to selective referral. Moreover, the literature on agglomeration economies highlights the importance of information spillovers within regions (Glaeser, 2010). To overcome these problems, our study is the first that examines the volume-outcome relationship on a regional (county or cancer registry) level. Using data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program we find that regions with relatively more of the same cancer type exhibit relatively better health outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2010/wp1011.pdf
File Function: first version, 2010
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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 1011.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:1011
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  1. 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.
  2. Amitabh Chandra & Douglas O. Staiger, 2007. "Productivity Spillovers in Health Care: Evidence from the Treatment of Heart Attacks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 103-140.
  3. Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2010. "Understanding Agglomerations in Health Care," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 211-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert S. Huckman & Gary P. Pisano, 2006. "The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 473-488, April.
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