Keynesian hospitals? Public employment and political pressure
Andrew E. Clark
This paper uses an unusual administrative dataset covering the universe of French hospitals to consider hospital employment: this is consistently higher in public hospitals than in Not-For-Profit or private hospitals, even controlling for many measures of hospital output (such as the type of operations and care provided, and the bed capacity rate). Public-hospital employment is positively correlated with the local unemployment rate, whereas no relationship is found in non-Public hospitals. This is consistent with public hospitals providing employment in depressed areas. We appeal to the Political Science literature and calculate local political allegiance, using expert evaluations on various parties political positions and local election results. The relationship between public hospital employment and local unemployment is stronger the more left-wing the local municipality. This latter result holds especially when electoral races are tight, consistent with a concern for re-election.
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