Short-Term Economic Impact of Rural Hospital Closures

Many rural hospitals across the United States are being forced to shut their doors, leading to questions about effects on local economies. This paper uses average treatment effects and difference in differences methodology to quantify the short-term impacts of closures, focusing on variables such as income, poverty, unemployment, home values, and shifts in industry employment. The likelihood of a hospital closure in a county was estimated and these propensity scores were then used to match the 43 counties that experienced a rural hospital closure with ‘otherwise similar’ counties whose hospitals did not close. Results suggest that recent rural hospital closures significantly impact many economic variables as well as creating shifts in occupations and industry.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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