This paper examines the extent to which agglomeration of the hospital service industry enhances the productivity of producing health care. Specifically, we use a large set of private insurance claims from the FAIR Health database to show that an increasing spatial concentration of hospital services results in a decreased cost of obtaining intermediate medical services. We explicitly test whether the reduced cost at concentrated locations arises from the ability to share intermediate service providers. The identification relies on state variation in medical lab technician licensure requirements, which influence the cost of intermediate services only through the cost of running a lab. Our findings suggest that agglomeration of the hospital service industry attracts specialized medical labs, which in turn help to reduce the cost of producing laboratory tests.
Agglomeration, Health care, Input sharing
Health Economics Review
LI, Jing and Friedson, Andrew.
The Impact of Agglomeration Economies on Hospital Input Prices. (2015). Health Economics Review. 5, (38), 1-15. Research Collection School Of Economics.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soe_research/1705