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Baby Boomlets and Baby Health: Hospital Crowdedness, Treatment Intensity, and Infant Health

Author

Listed:
  • Mindy Marks

    () (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

  • Kate Choi

Abstract

To identify the causal relationship between health care spending and infant health, we introduce a new instrument: the number of infants born on a given day in a given hospital. The thought experiment is on a crowded day at-risk infants receive reduced care because resource constraints are binding. Using detailed information on every birth in California from 2002 to 2006, we find that hospital crowdedness impacts treatment intensity. We show that OLS estimates overestimate the benefits of medical care. Our results suggest that the mortality benefits from additional spending are negligible and that more intensive treatment increases hospital readmission rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Mindy Marks & Kate Choi, 2011. "Baby Boomlets and Baby Health: Hospital Crowdedness, Treatment Intensity, and Infant Health," Working Papers 201440, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:201440
    as

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    File URL: https://economics.ucr.edu/repec/ucr/wpaper/201440.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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