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Does Hospital Competition Save Lives? Evidence from the English NHS Patient Choice Reforms

33 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2011  

Zack Cooper

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Stephen Gibbons

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment

Simon Jones

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alistair McGuire

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

Recent substantive reforms to the English National Health Service expanded patient choice and encouraged hospitals to compete within a market with fixed prices. This study investigates whether these reforms led to improvements in hospital quality. We use a difference‐in‐difference‐style estimator to test whether hospital quality (measured using mortality from acute myocardial infarction) improved more quickly in more competitive markets after these reforms came into force in 2006. We find that after the reforms were implemented, mortality fell (i.e. quality improved) for patients living in more competitive markets. Our results suggest that hospital competition can lead to improvements in hospital quality.

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Zack and Gibbons, Stephen and Jones, Simon and McGuire, Alistair, Does Hospital Competition Save Lives? Evidence from the English NHS Patient Choice Reforms (August 2011). The Economic Journal, Vol. 121, Issue 554, pp. F228-F260, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892629 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02449.x

Zachary Cooper (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Stephen Gibbons

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
WC2A 2AE London
United Kingdom
[44] (0)20 7955 6245 (Phone)
[44] (0)20 7955 7773 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/people/s.gibbons@lse.ac.uk/

Simon Jones

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alistair McGuire

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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