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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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    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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