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The Life-saving Effect of Hospital Proximity

Paola Bertoli and Veronica Grembi

CERGE-EI Working Papers from The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague

Abstract: We provide a new assessment of the effect of hospital proximity in an emergency situation exploiting the exogenous variation in the proximity to cities that are legally allowed to have a hospital based on their population size. Based on Italian municipal data, our instrumental variable results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in the distance to the nearest hospital (5 km) raises the fatality rate by 13.84% at the sample average. This figure is equal to 0.92 additional deaths per 100 accidents. We show that both OLS and DD estimates, generally used in the literature, provide a downward-biased measure of the true effect of hospital proximity because they do not fully solve spatial sorting problems. Proximity is more important when the level of road safety is low, when emergency services are less responsive, and when the nearest hospital has relatively low quality standards.

Keywords: access to care; hospital proximity; road-traffic accidents; instrumental variables; difference in differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C26 I10 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hea and nep-ure
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: The life‐saving effect of hospital proximity (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Life Saving Effects of Hospital Proximity (2015) Downloads
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