Katherine Baicker, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Dartmouth

Fiscal Shenanigans, Targeted Federal Health Care Funds, And Patient Mortality

December 10, 2004
12:00 - 1:30 PM

Colonial Penn Center Auditorium

Abstract Paper

Katherine Baicker is a Faculty Research Fellow in the Public Economics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Founded in 1920, the National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is the nation's leading nonprofit economic research organization.

Dr. Baicker received her bachelor's degree in Economics from Yale University, where she completed the John Heinz Memorial Fellowship for government service and served as President of their College Council. She received her Ph.D in Economics from Harvard University, where she was a Graduate Fellow at the National Science Foundation and recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award.

Dr. Baicker is currently teaching at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. She is also a senior research associate at the Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences in the Medical school. Along with public economics, Dr. Baicker's research interest include health economics and labor economics.

We explore the effectiveness of matching grants when lower levels of government can expropriate some of the funds for other uses. Using data on the Medicaid Disproportionate Share program, we identify states that were most able to expropriate funds. Payments to public hospitals in these states were systematically diverted and had no significant impact on patient mortality. Payments that were not expropriated were associated with significant declines in patient mortality. Overall, subsidies were an effective mechanism for improving outcomes for the poor, but the impact was limited by the ability of state and local governments to divert the targeted funds.

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