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Patient knowledge and antibiotic abuse: Evidence from an audit study in China

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  • Currie, Janet
  • Lin, Wanchuan
  • Zhang, Wei

Abstract

We conduct an audit study in which a pair of simulated patients with identical flu-like complaints visits the same physician. Simulated patient A is instructed to ask a question that showcases his/her knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use, whereas patient B is instructed to say nothing beyond describing his/her symptoms. We find that a patient who displays knowledge of appropriate antibiotics use reduces both antibiotic prescription rates and drug expenditures. Such knowledge also increases physicians’ information provision about possible side effects, but has a negative impact on the quality of the physician–patient interactions. Our results suggest that antibiotics abuse in China is not driven by patients actively demanding antibiotics, but is largely a supply-side phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 933-949

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:933-949

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Antibiotics; China; Physician; Prescription;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Social networks and externalities from gift exchange: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 19-30.
  2. Lu, Fangwen, 2014. "Insurance coverage and agency problems in doctor prescriptions: Evidence from a field experiment in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 156-167.
  3. Bingxiao Wu, 2014. "Mismeasurement in Pay-for-Performance: Evidence from an Intervention to Reduce Health Care Spending in China," Departmental Working Papers, Rutgers University, Department of Economics 201409, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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