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Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth

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  • Erin M. Johnson
  • M. Marit Rehavi

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the interaction between patient information and physician financial incentives. Using rich microdata on childbirth, we compare the treatment of physicians when they are patients with that of comparable nonphysicians. We also exploit the presence of HMO-owned hospitals to determine how the treatment gap varies with providers' financial incentives. Consistent with induced demand, physicians are approximately 10 percent less likely to receive a C-section, with only a quarter of this effect attributable to differential sorting. While financial incentives affect the treatment of nonphysicians, physician-patients are largely unaffected. Physicians also have better health outcomes. (JEL D83, I11, J16, J44)

Suggested Citation

  • Erin M. Johnson & M. Marit Rehavi, 2016. "Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 115-141, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:115-41
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140160
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "The pros and cons of workplace tournaments," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 302-302, October.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:445-456 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre Dubé & Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2015. "Do Pharmacists Buy Bayer? Informed Shoppers and the Brand Premium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1669-1726.
    4. W. Bentley MacLeod, 2017. "Viewpoint: The human capital approach to inference," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 5-39, February.
    5. Aleksandr Proshin & Alexandre Cazenave-Lacroutz & Zeynep Or & Lise Rochaix, 2018. "Impact of Diagnosis Related Group Refinement on the Choice Between Scheduled Caesarean Section and Normal Delivery: Recent Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-01812107, HAL.
    6. Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2017. "Deception and reception: The behavior of information providers and users," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 445-456.
    7. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    8. Erin M. Johnson & M. Marit Rehavi, 2016. "Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 115-141, February.
    9. Jacobson, Mireille G. & Chang, Tom Y. & Earle, Craig C. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 2017. "Physician agency and patient survival," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 27-47.
    10. repec:kap:poprpr:v:37:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9452-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bertoli,P.; Grembi,V.;, 2017. "Exploring the nexus between certainty in injury compensation and treatment selection," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/17, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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    13. Eric Schmidbauer & Dmitry Lubensky, 2016. "Equilibrium Informativeness in Veto-Based Delegation," Working Papers 2016-03, University of Central Florida, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:tpr:amjhec:v:4:y:2018:i:2:p:226-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alexander, Diane, 2015. "Does Physician Pay Affect Procedure Choice and Patient Health? Evidence from Medicaid C-section Use," Working Paper Series WP-2017-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    16. Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2017. "Diagnosing Expertise: Human Capital, Decision Making, and Performance among Physicians," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-43.
    17. Abe Dunn & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2018. "Physician Competition and the Provision of Care: Evidence from Heart Attacks," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 4(2), pages 226-261, Spring.
    18. Goldin, Jacob & Reck, Daniel, 2018. "Revealed Preference Analysis with Framing Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 13232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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