Imperial College London

ProfessorCarolPropper

Business School

Chair in Economics
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 9291c.propper CV

 
 
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Location

 

414City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

135 results found

Barrenho E, Miraldo M, Propper C, Walsh Bet al., 2021, The importance of surgeons and their peers in adoption and diffusion of innovation: an observational study of laparoscopic colectomy adoption and diffusion in England, Social Science and Medicine, Vol: 272, ISSN: 0277-9536

Little is known about the role of clinicians in accounting for adoption and diffusion of medical innovations, especially within the English National Health System. This study examines the importance of surgical consultants and their work-based networks on the diffusion of an important innovation, minimally invasive elective laparoscopic colectomy for colorectal cancer. The study used linked patient-level and workforce data on 260,110 elective colectomies and 1288 consultants between 2000 and 2014, to examine adoption of laparoscopic colectomy pre- and post-introduction of clinical guidelines and total share of colectomies performed laparoscopically by adopters. Laparoscopy as a share of elective colectomy increased from 0% in 2000 to 53% in 2014. Surgeons, rather than hospitals, were the principal agents accounting for the increase and explain 46.6% of the variance in laparoscopic colectomy use. Female surgeons, surgeons trained outside the United Kingdom, and recent graduates had higher rates of laparoscopy adoption. More experienced surgeons and surgeons with more peers who perform laparoscopy were more likely to adopt, adopt early and have greater use of laparoscopy. Targeting clinicians, rather than hospitals, is central to increasing adoption and diffusion of new medical technologies.

Journal article

Barrenho E, Gautier E, Miraldo M, Propper C, Rose CDet al., 2020, Innovation Diffusion and Physician Networks: Keyhole Surgery for Cancer in the English NHS

Working paper

Banks J, Karjalainen H, Propper C, 2020, Recessions and health: the long‐term health consequences of responses to the coronavirus, Fiscal Studies, Vol: 41, Pages: 337-344, ISSN: 0143-5671

The lockdown measures that were implemented in the spring of 2020 to stop the spread of COVID‐19 are having a huge impact on economies in the UK and around the world. In addition to the direct impact of COVID‐19 on health, the following recession will have an impact on people's health outcomes. This paper reviews economic literature on the longer‐run health impacts of business‐cycle fluctuations and recessions. Previous studies show that an economic downturn, which affects people through increased unemployment, lower incomes and increased uncertainty, will have significant consequences on people's health outcomes both in the short and longer term. The health effects caused by these adverse macroeconomic conditions will be complex and will differ across generations, regions and socio‐economic groups. Groups that are vulnerable to poor health are likely to be hit hardest even if the crisis hit all individuals equally, and we already see that some groups such as young workers and women are worse hit by the recession than others. Government policies during and after the pandemic will play an important role in determining the eventual health consequences.

Journal article

Propper C, Stoye G, Zaranko B, 2020, The wider impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the NHS*, Fiscal Studies, Vol: 41, Pages: 345-356, ISSN: 0143-5671

The coronavirus pandemic has had huge impacts on the National Health Service (NHS). Patients suffering from the illness have placed unprecedented demands on acute care, particularly on intensive care units (ICUs). This has led to an effort to dramatically increase the resources available to NHS hospitals in treating these patients, involving reorganisation of hospital facilities, redeployment of existing staff and a drive to bring in recently retired and newly graduated staff to fight the pandemic. These increases in demand and changes to supply have had large knock‐on effects on the care provided to the wider population. This paper discusses likely implications for healthcare delivery in the short and medium term of the responses to the coronavirus pandemic, focusing primarily on the implications for non‐coronavirus patients. Patterns of past care suggest those most likely to be affected by these disruptions will be older individuals and those living in more deprived areas, potentially exacerbating pre‐existing health inequalities. Effects are likely to persist into the longer run, with particular challenges around recruitment and ongoing staff shortages.

Journal article

Kunz J, Propper C, 2020, "Does Higher Hospital Quality Save Lives? the Association between" "COVID-19 Deaths and Hospital Quality in the USA

Working paper

Kunz J, Propper C, Staub KE, Winkelmann Ret al., 2020, Assessing the Quality of Public Services: Does Hospital Competition Crowd Out the For-Profit Quality Gap?

Working paper

Propper C, Shields M, Janke K, Johnston Det al., 2020, The causal effect of education on chronic health conditions in the UK, Journal of Health Economics, Vol: 70, ISSN: 0167-6296

We study the causal impact of education on chronic health conditions by exploitng two UK educationpolicy reforms. The first reform raised the minimum school leaving age in 1972 and affected the lowerend of the educational attainment distribution. The second reform is a combination of several policychanges that affected the broader educational attainment distribution in the early 1990s. Results areconsistent across both reforms: an extra year of schooling has no statistically identifiable impact onthe prevalence of most chronic health conditions. The exception is that both reforms led to astatistically significant reduction in the probability of having diabetes, and this result is robust acrossmodel specifications. However, even with the largest survey samples available in the UK, we areunable to statistically rule out moderate size educational effects for many of the other health conditions,although we generally find considerably smaller effects than OLS associations suggest.

Journal article

Janke K, Lee K, Propper C, Shields K, Shields Met al., 2020, Macroeconomic Conditions and Health in Britain: Aggregation, Dynamics and Local Area Heterogeneity

Working paper

Lee T, Propper C, Stoye G, 2020, Medical labour supply and the production of healthcare, Fiscal Studies, Vol: 40, Pages: 621-661, ISSN: 0143-5671

Medical labour markets are important due to their size and the importanceof medical labour in the production of healthcare and subsequent patient outcomes. We present a summary of important trends in the UK medical labourmarket, and review the latest research on factors that determine medical laboursupply and the impact of labour on patient outcomes. The topics examinedinclude the responsiveness of labour supply to changes in wages, regulationand other incentives; factors which determine the wide variation in physicianpractice and style; and the effect of teams and management quality on patientoutcomes. This literature reveals that while labour supply is relatively unresponsive to changes in wages, medical personnel do react strongly to otherincentives even in the short run. This is likely to have consequences for quality of care provided to patients. We set out a series of unanswered questionsin the UK setting, including: the importance of non-financial incentives inrecruiting and retaining medical staff; how individuals can be incentivised towork in particular specialties and regions; and how medical teams can be bestorganised to improve care.

Journal article

Black N, Shields M, Propper C, Johnston Det al., 2019, The effect of school sports facilities on physical activity, health and socioeconomic status in adulthood, Social Science and Medicine, Vol: 220, Pages: 120-128, ISSN: 0277-9536

This paper focuses on the long-term impacts of attending a high school with inadequate sports facilities. We use prospective data from the British National Child Development Study, a continuing panel of a cohort of 17,634 children born in Great Britain during a single week of March 1958. Our empirical approach exploits the educational system they were exposed to: children were sorted by educational ability at age 11, but conditional on educational ability, attended their closest school. This produces quasi-random variation in the quality of the school sports facilities across respondents. We use this variation between cohort members residing within the same local authority area, and focus on outcome measures of physical activity, health, health-related lifestyle activities, and socioeconomic status, collected at ages between 33 and 50 years. We control for any potential links between the inadequacy of sports facilities and inadequacy of other facility types, and test that allocation to school type is random with respect to pre-high school observables. We find that attending a school with inadequate sports facilities led to a statistically significant, modest decrease in the likelihood of physical activity participation during adulthood. In contrast, we find no evidence that inadequate sports facilities worsened adulthood measures of physical and mental health, lifestyle or socioeconomic status.

Journal article

Miraldo M, Propper C, Williams R, 2018, The impact of publicly subsidised health insurance on access, behavioural risk factors and disease management, Social Science and Medicine, Vol: 217, Pages: 135-151, ISSN: 0277-9536

In 2006, the Massachusetts healthcare reform was introduced to mandate health insurance, extend eligibility of publicly subsidised health insurance, improve quality and access to care and develop preventive health services. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of expanding publicly subsidised health insurance through the Massachusetts reform on access to primary care, disease management and behavioural risk factors. Using cross-sectional data from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 2001 to 2010 and exploiting the selective introduction of the healthcare reform, we assessed its impact on primary care access, behavioural risk factors, such as obesity, and receipt of diabetes management tests. We did so using a differences-in-differences methodology by comparing Massachusetts with other New England States for 131,002 adults under 300% of the federal poverty level and by race/ethnicity within this group. Triple difference estimates were also conducted to control for potential within state time varying confounding factors. The results suggest that increasing publicly subsidised health insurance had a positive impact on primary care access for lower income adults, particularly those that are white. However, with the exception of improvements in alcohol consumption for one specific group (lower income whites) the reform had no effect on behaviour risk factors or diabetes disease management. The aims of the reform were to improve access to care and through this, behavioural risk factors and diabetes management. This study suggests that while access to care was increased, reducing risk factors attributed to health risky behaviour and diabetes cannot be sufficiently done simply by extending health insurance coverage and the provision of preventive services. This suggests that more targeted interventions are required.

Journal article

Propper C, 2018, Competition in health care: Lessons from the English experience, Health Economics, Policy and Law, Vol: 13, Pages: 492-508, ISSN: 1744-1331

The use of competition and the associated increase in choice in health care is a popular reform model, adopted by many governments across the world. Yet it is also a hotly contested model, with opponents seeing it, at best, as a diversion of energy or a luxury and, at worst, as leading to health care inequality and waste. This paper subjects the use of competition in health care to scrutiny. It begins by examining the theoretical case and then argues that only by looking at evidence can we understand what works and when. The body of the paper examines the evidence for England. For 25 years the United Kingdom has been subject to a series of policy changes which exogenously introduced and then downplayed the use of competition in health care. This makes England a very useful test bed. The paper presents the UK reforms and then discusses the evidence of their impact, examining changes in outcomes, including quality, productivity and the effect on the distribution of health care resources across socio-economic groups. The final section reflects on what can be learnt from these findings.

Journal article

Burgess S, Propper C, Tominey E, 2017, Incentives in the public sector: evidence from a governmentagency, Economic Journal, Vol: 127, Pages: F117-F141, ISSN: 1468-0297

We study the impact of team-based performance pay in a major UK government agency, thepublic employment service. The scheme covered quantity and quality targets, measured withvarying degrees of precision. We use unique data from the agency’s performancemanagement system and personnel records, linked to local labour market data. We show thaton average the scheme had no significant effect but had a substantial positive effect in smallteams, fitting an explanation combining free riding and peer monitoring. We also show thatthe impact was greater on better-measured quantity outcomes than quality outcomes. Thescheme was very cost effective in small offices.

Journal article

Jones D, Propper C, Smith S, 2017, Wolves in sheep’s clothing: Is non-profit status used to signal quality?, Journal of Health Economics, Vol: 55, Pages: 108-120, ISSN: 0167-6296

Why do many firms in the healthcare sector adopt non-profit status? One argument is that non-profit status serves as a signal of quality when consumers are not well informed. A testable implication is that an increase in consumer information may lead to a reduction in the number of non-profits in a market. We test this idea empirically by exploiting an exogenous increase in consumer information in the US nursing home industry. We find that the information shock led to a reduction in the share of non-profit homes, driven by a combination of home closure and sector switching. The lowest quality non-profits were the most likely to exit. Our results have important implications for the effects of reforms to increase consumer provision in a number of public services.

Journal article

Santos R, Gravelle H, Propper C, 2017, Does quality affect patients’ choice of Doctor? Evidence from England, The Economic Journal, Vol: 127, Pages: 445-494, ISSN: 1468-0297

Reforms giving users of public services choice of provider aim to improve quality. But such reforms will work only if quality affects choice of provider. We test this crucial prerequisite in the English health care market by examining the choice of 3.4 million individuals of family doctor. Family doctor practices provide primary care and control access to non-emergency hospital care, the quality of their clinical care is measured and published and care is free. In this setting, clinical quality should affect choice. We find that a 1 standard deviation increase in clinical quality would increase practice size by around 17%.

Journal article

Cookson R, Propper C, Asaria M, Raine Ret al., 2016, Socioeconomic inequalities in health care in England, Fiscal Studies, Vol: 37, Pages: 371-403, ISSN: 1475-5890

This paper reviews what is known about socioeconomic inequalities in health care in England, with particular attention to inequalities relative to need that may be considered unfair (“inequities”). We call inequalities of 5% or less between most and least deprived socioeconomic quintile groups “slight”; inequalities of 6-15% “moderate”, and inequalities of > 15% “substantial”. Overall public health care expenditure is substantially concentrated on poorer people. At any given age, poorer people are more likely to see their family doctor, have a public outpatient appointment, visit accident and emergency, and stay in hospital for publicly funded inpatient treatment. After allowing for current self-assessed health and morbidity, there is slight pro-rich inequity in combined public and private medical specialist visits but not family doctor visits. There are also slight pro-rich inequities in overall indicators of clinical process quality and patient experience from public health care, substantial pro-rich inequalities in bereaved people’s experiences of health and social care for recently deceased relatives, and mostly slight but occasionally substantial pro-rich inequities in the use of preventive care (e.g. dental checkups, eye tests, screening and vaccination) and a few specific treatments (e.g. hip and knee replacement). Studies of population health care outcomes (e.g. avoidable emergency hospitalisation) find substantial pro-rich inequality after adjusting for age and sex only. These findings are all consistent with a broad economic framework that sees health care as just one input into the production of health over the lifecourse, alongside many other socioeconomically patterned inputs including environmental factors (e.g. living and working conditions), consumption (e.g. diet, smoking), self care (e.g. seeking medical information) and informal care (e.g. support from family and friends).

Journal article

Gaynor M, Propper C, Seiler S, 2016, Free to Choose? Reform, Choice, and Consideration Sets in the English National Health Service, American Economic Review, Vol: 106, Pages: 3521-3557, ISSN: 0002-8282

<jats:p> Choice in public services is controversial. We exploit a reform in the English National Health Service to assess the effect of removing constraints on patient choice. We estimate a demand model that explicitly captures the removal of the choice constraints imposed on patients. We find that, post-removal, patients became more responsive to clinical quality. This led to a modest reduction in mortality and a substantial increase in patient welfare. The elasticity of demand faced by hospitals increased substantially post-reform and we find evidence that hospitals responded to the enhanced incentives by improving quality. This suggests greater choice can raise quality. (JEL D12, I11, I18) </jats:p>

Journal article

Janke K, Propper C, Shields MA, 2016, Assaults, murders and walkers: The impact of violent crime on physical activity, Journal of Health Economics, Vol: 47, Pages: 34-49, ISSN: 0167-6296

We investigate an underexplored externality of crime: the impact of violent crime on individuals’ participation in walking. For many adults walking is the only regular physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people in 323 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011 matched to quarterly crime data at the small area level. Within area variation identifies the causal effect of local violent crime on walking and a difference-in-difference analysis of two high-profile crimes corroborates our results. We find a significant deterrent effect of violent crime on walking that translates into a drop in overall physical activity.

Journal article

Britton J, Propper C, 2016, Teacher pay and school productivity: exploiting wage regulation, Journal of Public Economics, Vol: 133, Pages: 75-89, ISSN: 0047-2727

The impact of teacher pay on school productivity is a central concern for governments worldwide, yet evidence is mixed. In this paper we exploit a feature of teacher labour markets to determine the impact of teacher wages. Teacher wages are commonly set in a manner that results in flat wages across heterogeneous labour markets. This creates an exogenous gap between the outside labour market and inside (regulated) wage for teachers. We use the centralized wage regulation of teachers in England to examine the effect of pay on school performance. We use data on over 3000 schools containing around 200,000 teachers who educate around half a million children per year. We find that teachers respond to pay. A ten percent shock to the wage gap between local labour market and teacher wages results in an average loss of around 2 percent in average school performance in the key exams taken at the end of compulsory schooling in England.

Journal article

von Hinke S, Davey Smith G, Lawlor DA, Propper C, Windmeijer Fet al., 2016, Genetic markers as instrumental variables, Journal of Health Economics, Vol: 45, Pages: 131-148, ISSN: 0167-6296

Journal article

Bloom N, Propper C, Seiler S, Van Reenen Jet al., 2015, The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals, The Review of Economic Studies, Vol: 82, Pages: 457-489, ISSN: 0034-6527

Journal article

Sayal K, Washbrook E, Propper C, 2015, Childhood Behavior Problems and Academic Outcomes in Adolescence: Longitudinal Population-Based Study, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol: 54, Pages: 360-368.e2, ISSN: 1527-5418

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of increasing levels of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and oppositional/defiant behaviors at age 7 years on academic achievement at age 16 years. METHOD: In a population-based sample of 7-year-old children in England, information was obtained about inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and oppositional/defiant behaviors (using parent and teacher ratings) and the presence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). After adjusting for confounder variables, their associations with academic achievement in national General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations (using scores and minimum expected school-leaving qualification level [5 "good" GCSEs]) at age 16 years were investigated (N = 11,640). RESULTS: In adjusted analyses, there was a linear association between each 1-point increase in inattention symptoms and worse outcomes (2- to 3-point reduction in GCSE scores and 6% to 7% (10%-12% with teacher ratings) increased likelihood of not achieving 5 good GCSEs). ADHD was associated with a 27- to 32-point reduction in GCSE scores and, in boys, a more than 2-fold increased likelihood of not achieving 5 good GCSEs. In boys, oppositional/defiant behaviors were also independently associated with worse outcomes, and DBDs were associated with a 19-point reduction in GCSE scores and a 1.83-increased likelihood of not achieving 5 good GCSEs. CONCLUSION: Across the full range of scores at a population level, each 1-point increase in inattention at age 7 years is associated with worse academic outcomes at age 16. The findings highlight long-term academic risk associated with ADHD, particularly inattentive symptoms. After adjusting for inattention and ADHD respectively, oppositional/defiant behaviors and DBDs are also independently associated with worse academic outcomes.

Journal article

Feng Y, Pistollato M, Charlesworth A, Devlin N, Propper C, Sussex Jet al., 2015, Association between market concentration of hospitals and patient health gain following hip replacement surgery, Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, Vol: 20, Pages: 11-17, ISSN: 1355-8196

ObjectivesTo assess the association between market concentration of hospitals (as a proxy for competition) and patient-reported health gains after elective primary hip replacement surgery.MethodsPatient Reported Outcome Measures data linked to NHS Hospital Episode Statistics in England in 2011/12 were used to analyse the association between market concentration of hospitals measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and health gains for 337 hospitals.ResultsThe association between market concentration and patient gain in health status measured by the change in Oxford Hip Score (OHS) after primary hip replacement surgery was not statistically significant at the 5% level both for the average patient and for those with more than average severity of hip disease (OHS worse than average). For 12,583 (49.1%) patients with an OHS before hip replacement surgery better than the mean, a one standard deviation increase in the HHI, equivalent to a reduction of about one hospital in the local market, was associated with a 0.104 decrease in patients’ self-reported improvement in OHS after surgery, but this was not statistically significant at the 5% level.ConclusionsHospital market concentration (as a proxy for competition) appears to have no significant influence (at the 5% level) on the outcome of elective primary hip replacement. The generalizability of this finding needs to be investigated.

Journal article

Farrell L, Hollingsworth B, Propper C, Shields MAet al., 2014, The socioeconomic gradient in physical inactivity: Evidence from one million adults in England, SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE, Vol: 123, Pages: 55-63, ISSN: 0277-9536

Journal article

Johnston DW, Propper C, Pudney SE, Shields MAet al., 2014, The income gradient in childhood mental health: all in the eye of the beholder?, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Vol: 177, Pages: 807-827, ISSN: 0964-1998

Journal article

Washbrook E, Gregg P, Propper C, 2014, A decomposition analysis of the relationship between parental income and multiple child outcomes, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Vol: 177, Pages: 757-782, ISSN: 0964-1998

Journal article

Johnston D, Propper C, Pudney S, Shields Met al., 2014, CHILD MENTAL HEALTH AND EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT: MULTIPLE OBSERVERS AND THE MEASUREMENT ERROR PROBLEM, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Vol: 29, Pages: 880-900, ISSN: 0883-7252

Journal article

McCormack J, Propper C, Smith S, 2014, Herding Cats? Management and University Performance, The Economic Journal, Vol: 124, Pages: F534-F564, ISSN: 1468-0297

Using a tried and tested measure of management practices that has been shown to predict firm performance, we survey nearly 250 departments across 100+ UK universities. We find large differences in management scores across universities and that departments in older, research-intensive universities score higher than departments in newer, more teaching-oriented universities. We also find that management matters in universities. The scores, particularly with respect to provision of incentives for staff recruitment, retention and promotion are correlated with both teaching and research performance conditional on resources and past performance. Moreover, this relationship holds for all universities, not just research-intensive ones.

Journal article

Gaynor M, Moreno-Serra R, Propper C, 2013, Death by Market Power: Reform, Competition, and Patient Outcomes in the National Health Service, AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-ECONOMIC POLICY, Vol: 5, Pages: 134-166, ISSN: 1945-7731

Journal article

Washbrook E, Propper C, Sayal K, 2013, Pre-school hyperactivity/attention problems and educational outcomes in adolescence: prospective longitudinal study, BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, Vol: 203, Pages: 265-271, ISSN: 0007-1250

Journal article

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