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Hurricane Maria and La Crisis Boricua on health-care supply in Puerto Rico

AEA Paper and Proceedings. May 31, 2021

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Abstract

Many medical professionals left Puerto Rico due to the financial crisis. Puerto Rico passed Act 14 in April 2017 to mitigate the exodus of physicians, reducing the flat tax on medical services to 4 percent. The same year, Puerto Rico was devastated by a Category 4 hurricane, leaving the island without power for several months. A difference-in-difference model is used to estimate the net effects of the hurricane and Act 14 on the number of health-care providers. The number of health-care providers decreased by 6.5 percent, family physicians by 17.5 percent, and specialists by 8 percent.

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