The Effect of Registered Nurses' Unions on Heart-Attack Mortality

Posted: 13 Apr 2004

See all articles by Michael Ash

Michael Ash

UMass-Amherst - Department of Economics; CPPA, UMass-Amherst

Jean Ann Seago

University of Massachusetts - Department of Economics

Abstract

Although hospital work organization affects patient outcomes and in some states registered nurses (R.N.'s) are increasingly forming unions, the relationship between R.N. unions and patient outcomes has received little attention. This study examines the relationship between R.N. unionization and the mortality rate for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), or heart attack, in acute-care hospitals in California. After controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, the authors find that hospitals with unionized R.N.'s have 5.5% lower heart-attack mortality than do non-union hospitals. This result remains substantively unchanged when the analysis accounts for possible selection bias-specifically, the possibility that unionized hospitals have certain important but unobservable characteristics, independent of unionization, that affect patient care.

Keywords: unions and productivity, nurses' unions, registered nurses' unions

JEL Classification: J51, J24

Suggested Citation

Ash, Michael and Seago, Jean Ann, The Effect of Registered Nurses' Unions on Heart-Attack Mortality. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=529103

Michael Ash (Contact Author)

UMass-Amherst - Department of Economics ( email )

10th Floor Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.umass.edu/economics

CPPA, UMass-Amherst

Department of Operations and Information Managemen
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.masspolicy.net

Jean Ann Seago

University of Massachusetts - Department of Economics ( email )

10th Floor Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

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