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Is austerity good for efficiency, at least? A counterfactual assessment for the Italian NHS

Author

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  • Guccio, C.;
  • Pignataro, G.;
  • Romeo, D.;
  • Vidoli, F.;

Abstract

In recent decades, austerity measures have been widely adopted in public healthcare systems, so as to cope with financial constraints. This paper assesses the impact of a specific policy implemented in some Italian regions since 2007 with the purpose of reducing their healthcare spending deficit, the so called Recovery Plans (Piani di rientro), on the technical efficiency of their hospitals. Using a unique sample of administrative data relative to a large panel of hospitals in the period 2003-2010, and employing, as identification strategy, the exogenous introduction of the austerity policy in some regions, we find that the policy had a detrimental effect on the efficiency of the hospitals operating in the regions subjected to the policy. The results show that the efficiency loss grows over time, suggesting the existence of negative cumulative effects of the austerity policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Guccio, C.; & Pignataro, G.; & Romeo, D.; & Vidoli, F.;, 2022. "Is austerity good for efficiency, at least? A counterfactual assessment for the Italian NHS," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 22/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:22/28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guccio, C. & Pignatora, G. & Vidoli, F., 2023. "It never rains but it pours: Austerity and mortality rate in peripheral areas," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 23/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    hospitals; recovery plans; technical efficiency; austerity; spending cuts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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