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Estimating returns to hospital volume: Evidence from advanced cancer surgery

Daniel Avdic (), Petter Lundborg and Johan Vikström

Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 63, issue C, 81-99

Abstract: High-volume hospitals typically perform better than low-volume hospitals. In this paper, we study whether such patterns reflect a causal effect of case volume on patient outcomes. To this end, we exploit closures and openings of entire cancer clinics in Swedish hospitals which provides sharp and arguably exogenous variation in case volumes. Using detailed register data on more than 100,000 treatment episodes of advanced cancer surgery, our results suggest substantial positive effects of operation volume on survival. Complementary analyses point to learning-by-doing as an important explanation.

Keywords: Hospital case volume; Learning-by-doing; Cancer surgery; Survival; Causal effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I12 I18 L11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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