Reference Incomes, Loss Aversion, and Physician Behavior
AbstractWe examine the effects of reference income on the behavior of young male physicians. Using a unique panel of data, we relate physicians' reference and actual incomes to their subsequent income growth. Reference income has a strong positive effect on subsequent income for physicians who are below their reference points, but not for physicians who are at or above their reference points. Loss aversion, which posits a kink in utility at the reference point, explains this puzzling pattern. Physicians respond strongly to shortfalls from the reference point-they take unappealing actions to boost earnings-because the marginal utility of income is steep in that range. Competing prominent theories, tested here, fail to explain these relationships. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 85 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004.
"Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being,"
NBER Working Papers
10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
- Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Wolfhard Kaus, 2010.
"Conspicuous Consumption and Race: Evidence from South Africa,"
Papers on Economics and Evolution
2010-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
- Georgellis, Yannis & Gregoriou, Andros & Tsitsianis, Nikolaos, 2008. "Adaptation towards reference values: A non-linear perspective," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 768-781, September.
- Alexandre Mas, 2006. "Pay, Reference Points, and Police Performance," NBER Working Papers 12202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:pri:indrel:1064 is not listed on IDEAS
- Rablen, Matthew D., 2010. "Performance targets, effort and risk-taking," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 687-697, August.
- Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Georgellis, Yannis & Tsitsianis, Nicholas & Yin, Ya Ping, 2009.
"Income and happiness across Europe: Do reference values matter?,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 42-51, February.
- Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Yannis Georgellis & Nicholas Tsitsianis & Ya Ping Yin, 2007. "Income and Happiness across Europe: Do Reference Values Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2146, CESifo Group Munich.
- Rizzo, John A. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2007. "Pushing incomes to reference points: Why do male doctors earn more?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 514-536, July.
- Georgellis, Yannis & Gregoriou, Andros & Tsitsianis, Nikolaos, 2009. "Reference-dependent preferences in the public and private sectors: A nonlinear perspective," MPRA Paper 17021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Huffman, David B. & Barenstein, Matias, 2004. "Riches to Rags Every Month? The Fall in Consumption Expenditures Between Paydays," IZA Discussion Papers 1430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Fang, Hai & Rizzo, John A., 2009. "Competition and physician-enabled demand: The role of managed care," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 463-474, October.
- Chambers, Valrie & Spencer, Marilyn, 2008. "Does changing the timing of a yearly individual tax refund change the amount spent vs. saved?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 856-862, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.