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Custom-made versus ready-to-wear treatments: Behavioral propensities in physicians' choices

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  • Frank, Richard G.
  • Zeckhauser, Richard J.

Abstract

To customize treatments to individual patients entails costs of coordination and cognition. Thus, providers sometimes choose treatments based on norms for broad classes of patients. We develop behavioral hypotheses explaining when and why doctors customize to the particular patient, and when instead they employ "ready-to-wear" treatments. Our empirical studies examining length of office visits and physician prescribing behavior find evidence of norm-following behavior. Some such behavior, from our studies and from the literature, proves sensible; but other behavior seems far from optimal.
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Suggested Citation

  • Frank, Richard G. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2007. "Custom-made versus ready-to-wear treatments: Behavioral propensities in physicians' choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1101-1127, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:26:y:2007:i:6:p:1101-1127
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lorens A. Helmchen & Anthony T. Lo Sasso, 2010. "How sensitive is physician performance to alternative compensation schedules? Evidence from a large network of primary care clinics," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(11), pages 1300-1317.
    2. Jonathan T. Kolstad, 2013. "Information and Quality when Motivation is Intrinsic: Evidence from Surgeon Report Cards," NBER Working Papers 18804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Claudia Keser & Claude Montmarquette & Martin Schmidt & Cornelius Schnitzler, 2013. "Custom-made healthcare An experimental investigation," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-15, CIRANO.
    4. Mariana Carrera & Dana Goldman & Geoffrey Joyce, 2013. "Heterogeneity in Cost-Sharing and Cost-Sensitivity, and the Role of the Prescribing Physician," NBER Working Papers 19186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2011. "Pricing risk and ambiguity: The effect of perspective taking," Kiel Working Papers 1727, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Berndt, Ernst R. & Gibbons, Robert S. & Kolotilin, Anton & Taub, Anna Levine, 2015. "The heterogeneity of concentrated prescribing behavior: Theory and evidence from antipsychotics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 26-39.
    7. Samuel Kleiner & William White & Sean Lyons, 2015. "Market power and provider consolidation in physician markets," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 99-126, March.
    8. Fiebig, D.G. & Viney, R. & Haas, M. & Knox, S. & Street, D. & Weisberg, E. & Bateson, D., 2015. "Complexity and doctor choices when discussing contraceptives," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    9. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2013. "Shunning uncertainty: The neglect of learning opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 44-55.
    10. Andrew J. Epstein & Jonathan D. Ketcham, 2014. "Information technology and agency in physicians' prescribing decisions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(2), pages 422-448, June.
    11. Anna A. Levine Taub & Anton Kolotilin & Robert S. Gibbons & Ernst R. Berndt, 2011. "The Diversity of Concentrated Prescribing Behavior: An Application to Antipsychotics," NBER Working Papers 16823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Till Bärnighausen & David E. Bloom, 2009. "Changing Research Perspectives on the Global Health Workforce," NBER Working Papers 15168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jason Shafrin, 2010. "Operating on commission: analyzing how physician financial incentives affect surgery rates," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 562-580.
    14. Andrew Epstein & Scott Johnson, 2012. "Physician response to financial incentives when choosing drugs to treat breast cancer," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 285-302, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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