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Testing for the Role of Prejudice in Emergency Departments Using Bounceback Rates

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  • Shamena Anwar
  • Hanming Fang

Abstract

We propose and empirically implement a test for the presence of racial prejudice among emergency department (ED) physicians based on the bounceback rates of the patients who were discharged after receiving diagnostic tests during their initial ED visits. A bounceback is defined as a return to the ED within 72 hours of being initially discharged. Based on a plausible model of physician behavior, we show that differential bounceback rates across patients of different racial groups who are discharged after receiving diagnostic tests from their ED visits are informative of the racial prejudice of the physicians. Applying the test to administrative data of ED visits from California and New Jersey, we do not find evidence of prejudice against black and Hispanic patients. Our finding suggests that, at least in the emergency department setting, taste based discrimination does not play an important role in the racial disparities in health care.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16888.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as Testing for the Role of Prejudice in Emergency Departments Using Bounceback Rates, (with Shamena Anwar), BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (Advances) , Vol. 12: Issue 3 (Advances), Article 4, 2012.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16888

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  1. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," NBER Working Papers 13206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2005. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Balsa, Ana I. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2001. "Statistical discrimination in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 881-907, November.
  4. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
  5. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 1999. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephen L. Ross & John Yinger, 2002. "The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182289, December.
  7. Mechoulan, St├ęphane & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2011. "Assessing Racial Discrimination in Parole Release," CEPR Discussion Papers 8506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Amitabh Chandra & Douglas O. Staiger, 2010. "Identifying Provider Prejudice in Healthcare," NBER Working Papers 16382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Debopam Bhattacharya & Shin Kanaya & Margaret Stevens, 2014. "Are University Admissions Academically Fair?," CREATES Research Papers 2014-06, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2013. "Evaluating treatment protocols using data combination," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 173(2), pages 160-174.

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