Because geographic variation in medical care utilization is jointly
determined by both supply and demand, it is difficult to empirically
estimate whether capacity itself has a causal impact on utilization in
health care. In this paper, I exploit short-term variation in Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) capacity that is unlikely to be correlated
with unobserved demand determinants. I find that available NICU
beds have little to no effect on NICU utilization for the sickest infants,
but do increase utilization for those in the range of birth weights
where admission decisions are likely to be more discretionary.
(JEL I11, I12, I18, J13)
"Capacity and Utilization in Health Care: The Effect of Empty Beds on Neonatal Intensive Care Admission."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Analysis of Health Care Markets
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth