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Areas of Expertise:
  • Finance
  • Health Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Policy
  • Regulation
  • Strategy

Ashvin Gandhi conducts his research predominantly at the intersection of industrial organization and health economics. He is particularly interested in how firm strategy interacts with health care policy and regulation.

One of his recent projects investigates whether health care providers pick their patients. He uses patient-level administrative data on skilled nursing facilities in California to identify and analyze discriminatory admission practices in the nursing home industry. Gandhi finds evidence of selective admission practices that disproportionately harm Medicaid-eligible patients with lengthy anticipated stays, in spite of anti-discrimination laws. He explores the potential effects of proposed policies intended to mitigate these discriminatory practices.

His current work with Shoshana Vasserman and Pierre Dubois asks what would happen if the United States were to regulate pharmaceutical prices to be lower than in other countries. They find that the dominant effect of such a reference pricing policy could influence pharmaceutical companies to raise prices in other countries rather than substantially lower their U.S. prices. They also find that the structure of such a policy plays an important role in its potential effects.

Other recent work of his with Prabhava Upadrashta and YoungJun Song investigates the impact of private equity (PE) ownership in the healthcare industry. They study PE acquisitions of US nursing homes and find that PE owners are more sensitive to competition than non-PE owners. As a result, PE ownership is neither uniformly good nor uniformly bad for patients: when competition is strong, PE owners improve quality relative to non-PE owners, while when competition is weak, PE owners take advantage of their market power by reducing quality. Their findings suggest that concerned regulators should pay particularly close attention to competitive incentives in the markets where PE acquisitions occur.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gandhi studied the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes. His work was some of the first to identify factors associated with nursing home outbreaks, such as facility size, staff size, and staff vaccination rates. His work also measured the degree to which federal data undercounts the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at nursing homes.

Education

Ph.D. Economics, 2019, Harvard University

B.A. Mathematics and Economics, 2013, Pomona College

Working Papers

"Picking Your Patients: Selective Admissions in the Nursing Home Industry"

"Bargaining and International Reference Pricing in the Pharmaceutical Industry" (with Pierre Dubois and Shoshana Vasserman)

"Private Equity, Consumers, and Competition" (with Prabhava Updrashta and YoungJun Song) 

"Have Private Equity Owned Nursing Homes Fared Worse Under COVID-19?" (with YoungJun Song and Prabhava Upadrashta)

"Minimum Wages and Employment Composition" (with Krista Ruffini)

"Does SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance Testing Prevent COVID-19 Transmission?" (with Brian E. McGarry and Michael L. Barnett). Revise & Resubmit. (Under embargo.)

Publications

"State Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, Staff Vaccination Coverage, and Staff Shortages" (with Brian McGarry, Maggie Syme, Sarah D. Berry, Elizabeth M. White, and David Grabowski). 2022. JAMA: Health Forum.

"Staffing Patterns in US Nursing Homes During COVID-19 Outbreaks" (with Karen Shen, Brian McGarry, David Grabowski, and Jonathan Gruber). 2022. JAMA: Health Forum.

"Evaluating the Findings of the IMPACT-C Randomized Clinical Trial to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage in Skilled Nursing Facilities" (with Sarah D. Berry, Keith S. Goldfeld, Kevin McConeghy, David Gifford, H. Edward Davidson, Lisa Han, Maggie Syme, Susan L. Mitchell, Jill Harrison, Amy Recker, Kimberly S. Johnson, Stefan Gravenstein, and Vincent Mor). 2021. JAMA: Internal Medicine.

"Nursing Home Staff Vaccination and COVID-19 Outcomes" (with Brian E. McGarry, Michael L. Barnett, and David C. Grabowski). 2021. New England Journal of Medicine.

"Association of Nursing Home Characteristics With Staff and Resident COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage" (with Brian E. McGarry, Karen Shen, Michael L. Barnett, and David C. Grabowski). 2021. JAMA: Internal Medicine.

"Estimates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Among Nursing Home Residents Not Reported in Federal Data" (with Karen Shen, Lacey Loomer, Hannah Abrams, and David C. Grabowski). 2021. JAMA: Network Open.

"Association between Nursing Home Staff Turnover and Infection Control Citations" (with Lacey Loomer, David Grabowski and Huizi Yu).  2021. Health Services Research.

"Larger Nursing Home Staff Size Linked To Higher Number Of COVID-19 Cases In 2020" (with Brian McGarry, David Grabowski, and Michael Barnett). 2021. Health Affairs

"High Nursing Staff Turnover in Nursing Homes Offers Important Quality Information" (with David Grabowski and Huizi Yu). 2021. Health Affairs.

"Characteristics of U.S. Nursing Homes with COVID ‐19 Cases" (with Hannah Abrams, Lacey Loomer, and David Grabowski). 2020. Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

"Secret Shopper Data on Private Prices in the Nursing Home Industry From 2008 to 2010" (with Lacey Loomer, Fangli Geng, and David Grabowski). 2021. Medical Care Research and Review.

Work in Progress

"Detection, Deterrence, and Adaptation in the Certification of Medical Necessity" (with Maggie Shi)

"Beliefs that Entertain" (with Paola Giuliano, Quinn Keefer, Chase McDonald, Michaela Pagel, and Joshua Tasoff)

"Healthcare Provider Bankruptcies" (with Samuel Antill, Jessica Bai, and Adrienne Sabety)

"The Welfare Consequences of Fake Reviews" (with Brett Hollenbeck)

"Staff Composition and Patient Outcomes at Nursing Homes" (with David Grabowski, Brian McGarry, and Ljubica Ristovska)

"Employer Vaccine Mandates" (with Katherine Wen, Brian McGarry, Huizi Yu, et al.)

Undergraduate Publications

"Reexamining Income Tax Overwithholding as a Response to Uncertainty" (with Michael Kuehlwein). 2016.  Public Finance Review.

"The Political Economy of Legislation on Terrorism" (with S. Brock Blomberg and Gregory Hess). 2011.  Defence and Peace Economics