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Bargaining Over Labour: Do Patients Have Any Power?

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  • JOSHUA S. GANS
  • ANDREW LEIGH

Abstract

Using data on births from Australia, we estimate the level of patient bargaining power in negotiations over birth timing. In doing so, we exploit the fact that parents do not like to have children born on the “inauspicious” dates of February 29 and April 1. We show that, in general, the birth rate is lower on these dates, and argue that this reflects parent preferences. When these inauspicious dates abut a weekend, this creates a potential conflict between avoiding the inauspicious date, and avoiding the weekend. We find that in approximately three-quarters of cases, this conflict is resolved in favor of the physician. This suggests that while doctors have more power than patients, patients are sometimes able to influence medical decisions for non-medical reasons.
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Suggested Citation

  • Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2012. "Bargaining Over Labour: Do Patients Have Any Power?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(281), pages 182-194, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:88:y:2012:i:281:p:182-194
    DOI: j.1475-4932.2011.00776.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2011.00776.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.71.6.601_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Michael Neugart & Henry Ohlsson, 2013. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: evidence from the German parental benefit reform of 2007," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
    4. Brown, H. III, 1996. "Physician demand for leisure: implications for cesarean section rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 233-242, April.
    5. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2007. "Minding the shop: The case of obstetrics conferences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1458-1465, October.
    6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    7. Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Amitabh Chandra, 1999. "Taxes and the Timing of Birth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 161-177, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Cheng-Feng Cheng, 2012. "Evaluate the Effectiveness of Manager Compensation," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 11(1), pages 25-44, June.
    2. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2007. "Minding the shop: The case of obstetrics conferences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1458-1465, October.
    3. Almond, Douglas & Chee, Christine Pal & Sviatschi, Maria Micaela & Zhong, Nan, 2015. "Auspicious birth dates among Chinese in California," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 153-159.
    4. Schulkind, Lisa & Shapiro, Teny Maghakian, 2014. "What a difference a day makes: Quantifying the effects of birth timing manipulation on infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 139-158.
    5. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    6. Fabbri, Daniele & Monfardini, Chiara & Castaldini, Ilaria & Protonotari, Adalgisa, 2016. "Cesarean section and the manipulation of exact delivery time," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(7), pages 780-789.
    7. Gabriela Aparicio & Paul E. Carrillo & M. Shahe Emran, 2013. "Are Sunday Babies Doomed for Life? Measuring the Sunday-Born Achievement Gap in Ecuador," Working Papers 2013-2, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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