Graduation Year

Fall 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Eric Helland

Reader 2

Gregory Hess

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© 2011 Ajay Sridhar


A vast literature acknowledges that minority groups, particularly African-Americans, receive less, and lower-quality treatment than Caucasians in U.S. health facilities. It remains an open question as to how much of this disparity is a result of poverty, and how much, a result of more overt discrimination. Former empirical studies are far from conclusive given the endogeneity of hospital quality, as minorities are overrepresented in areas served by poor health facilities. To remedy this endogeneity issue, we observe visitors to the state of Florida, as well as travelers within Florida. When an individual experiences a health shock far from home, her hospital assignment becomes random. By contrasting treatment intensity, and patient outcomes of minority visitors with the total population, we find that residence plays a substantial role in the provision of healthcare. Our results indicate that though African-Americans as minority group receive less treatment and experience higher mortality rates, these disparities disappear for African-American visitors.