Long-Term Care Hospitals: A Case Study in Waste

Liran Einar, Amy Finkelstein, Neale Mahoney

There is substantial waste in U.S. healthcare, but little consensus on how to identify or combat it. We identify one specific source of waste: long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). These post-acute care facilities began as a regulatory carve-out for a few dozen specialty hospitals, but have expanded into an industry with over 400 hospitals and $5.4 billion in annual Medicare spending in 2014. We use the entry of LTCHs into local hospital markets and an event study design to estimate LTCHs’ impact.

Measuring Effects of SNAP on Obesity at the Intensive Margin

Rusty Tchernis, Lorenzo N. Almada

The effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on obesity have been the focus of much debate. However, causal interpretation of estimates from previous studies, comparing participants to non-participants, is complicated by endogeneity and possible misreporting of participation in SNAP. In this paper, we take a novel approach to examine quasiexperimental variation in SNAP benefit amount on adult obesity. Children of SNAP households qualify for free in-school meals, thus freeing some additional benefits for the household.

Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets

Aprajit Mahajan, Alessandro Tarozzi

Economists have recently argued that time inconsistency may play a central role in explaining inter- temporal behavior, particularly among poor households. However, time-preference parameters are typ- ically not identified in standard dynamic choice models and little is known about the fraction of in- consistent agents in the population. We formulate a dynamic discrete choice model in an unobservedly heterogeneous population of possibly time-inconsistent agents motivated by specifically collected infor- mation combined with a field intervention in rural India.