Discussion Papers no.919

Impacts of hospital wait time on patient health and labor supply

We estimate the effects of wait time for orthopedic surgery on health and labor market outcomes of Norwegian workers.

Our identification strategy exploits variation in wait times for surgery generated by the idiosyncratic variation in system congestion at the time of referral. While we find no significant evidence of lasting health effects, longer wait times have persistent negative effects on subsequent labor supply. For every 10 days spent waiting for surgery, we estimate health-related workplace absences increase 8.7 days over the five years following referral, and the likelihood of permanent disability insurance increases by 0.4 percentage point. Cost benefit calculations point to sizable fiscal savings from shorter wait times.

About the publication

Title

Impacts of hospital wait time on patient health and labor supply

Author

Anna Godøy, Venke Furre Haaland, Ingrid Huitfeldt and Mark Votruba

Series and number

Discussion Papers no.919

Publisher

Statistisk sentralbyrå

Topic

Discussion Papers

ISSN

1892-753X

Number of pages

71

About Discussion Papers

Discussion papers comprise research papers intended for international journals and books. A preprint of a Discussion Paper may be longer and more elaborate than a standard journal article as it may include intermediate calculations, background material etc.

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