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The effect of budget cuts on C-section rates and birth outcomes: Evidence from Spain

Paola Bertoli, Veronica Grembi, Catalina Llaneza Hesse and Judit Vall Castello ()

Social Science & Medicine, 2020, vol. 265, issue C

Abstract: Using data from Spain, we show the impact of significant health-sector budget cuts introduced in 2012 on the rates of cesarean sections and on infant health outcomes at birth, which we use as a proxy for the quality of birth centers. Exploiting a difference-in-differences fixed-effects approach at the hospital level, we estimate a 3% increase in C-sections as a result of the budget restrictions, with no significant consequences on health outcomes at birth. Given the additional evidence in the literature on the negative short- and long-term effects of non-medically indicated C-sections, our paper provides important policy implications for population health.

Keywords: Inappropriate healthcare; Health spending cuts; Cesarean sections (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 I18 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113419

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Social Science & Medicine is currently edited by Ichiro (I.) Kawachi and S.V. (S.V.) Subramanian

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