The Importance of Access to Health for Rural Economic Development

Grants and Contracts Details


We want to understand the importance of healthcare employment and wages in a community and how they react to changes in the hospital market. We want to observe how other businesses react to changes in the number of hospitals in the community. Several recent factors affected the viability of hospitals and led to closings. Primarily, Medicare and Medicaid changed the model of healthcare delivery away from hospitals towards more outpatient care. When the hospital closes there is direct job loss in hospital employees. We want to understand the change in employment and wages before and after this event. We want to know if employees in the aggregate move to other medical firms, become unemployed or leave the local labor market. We also want to see how employment in other industries changes as the hospital closes. On the other side, we want to compare this to communities which opened hospitals or maintained their current hospital environment. Earlier work showed a hospital closing in a market with several hospitals and it had little effect on local employment. In a community where the sole hospital closed, there was a large change in overall employment (Holmes, Slifkin, Randolph, & Poley, 2006). We propose to examine these issues using the U.S. Census Longitudinal Business Dataset and the Annual Services Survey among others available at the University of Kentucky Federal Statistical Research Data Center. We propose a three year project with four main objectives: understand the hospital market overtime, understand change in healthcare employment overtime, measure change in other industries in the community and share with policymakers how to think about these changes in their communities.
Effective start/end date5/15/195/14/24


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $499,725.00


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