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Bargaining Over Labour: Do Patients Have Any Power?

  • JOSHUA S. GANS
  • ANDREW LEIGH

We provide a new method of identifying the level of relative bargaining power in bilateral negotiations using exogenous variation in the degree of conflict between parties. Using daily births data, we study negotiations over birth timing. In doing so, we exploit the fact that fewer children are born on the "inauspicious" dates of February 29 and April 1; most likely, we argue, reflecting parental preferences. When these inauspicious dates abut a weekend, this creates a potential conflict between avoiding the inauspicious date (the parents' likely preference), and avoiding the weekend (the doctor's likely preference). Using daily births data, we estimate how often this conflict is resolved in favor of the physician. We show how this provides an estimate of how bargaining power is distributed between patients and physicians.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2011.00776.x
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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal The Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 88 (2012)
Issue (Month): 281 (06)
Pages: 182-194

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:88:y:2012:i:281:p:182-194
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  1. Henry Ohlsson, Michael Neugart and, 2009. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: Evidence from the German parental benefit reform 2007," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Marcus Tamm, 2009. "The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0098, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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