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Profit or patients’ health benefit? Exploring the heterogeneity in physician altruism

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  • Godager, Geir
  • Wiesen, Daniel

Abstract

This paper investigates physician altruism toward patients’ health benefit using behavioral data from Hennig-Schmidt et al.'s (2011) laboratory experiment. In the experiment, medical students in the role of physicians decide on the provision of medical services. The experimental setup allows us to identify the influence of profits and patients’ health benefit on the choice of medical treatment. We estimate physician altruism, the weight individuals attach to patients’ health benefit, by fitting mixed logit and multinomial logit regression models to the experimental data. Estimation results provide evidence for physician altruism. We find, however, substantial variation in the degree of physician altruism. We also discuss some implications of our results for the design of physician payment schemes in the light of the theoretical literature.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1105-1116

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:6:p:1105-1116

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

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Keywords: Payment incentives; Physician behavior; Physician altruism; Health care quantity; Mixed logit regression;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 642-659.
  2. Søren Rud Kristensen & Luigi Siciliani & Matt Sutton, 2014. "Optimal Price-Setting in Pay for Performance Schemes in Health Care," Discussion Papers 14/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 456, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Godager, Geir & Iversen, Tor & Hennig-Schmidt, Heike, 2013. "Does performance disclosure influence physicians’ medical decisions? An experimental analysis," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2013:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

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