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Abstract:

Journal Article
Ownership and hospital behaviour: Employment and local unemployment.
Andrew E. Clark and Carine Milcent
April 2018
Paper No' :


Tags: competition; france; hospitals; management; public employment; unemployment;

In this paper, we address two issues: i) how hospital employment changes with local unemployment, according to the type of hospital ownership, and ii) whether this relationship changed after the implementation of a pro-competitive reform that made hospitals more similar. A 2006-2010 French panel of 1695 hospitals over five waves allows us to consider within-hospital employment changes. We first find that higher local unemployment is associated with greater employment in State-owned hospitals, but not for any other hospital ownership type: French local authorities then seem to respond to depressed local labour markets by increasing employment in State-owned hospitals. After the full implementation of the pro-competitive reform hospital funding became based only on activity and no longer on some historical budget. Theoretically, the new reimbursement system should break the relationship between public-hospital employment and local unemployment. Our results reveal that the reform worked as expected in less-deprived areas: reducing employment and eliminating the correlation between local unemployment and State-owned hospital employment. However, in higher-unemployment areas, public-hospital employment remains counter-cyclical. Poor local labour-market health then seems to trump financial incentives in determining employment in public hospitals.