Do expert patients get better treatment than others? Agency discrimination and statistical discrimination in obstetrics
We address models that can explain why expert patients (obstetricians, midwives and doctors) are treated better than non-experts (mainly non-medical training). Models of statistical discrimination show that benevolent doctors treat expert patients better, since experts are better at communicating with the doctor. Agency theory suggests that doctors have an incentive to limit hospital costs by distorting information to non-expert patients, but not to expert patients. The hypotheses were tested on a large set of data, which contained information about the highest education of the parents, and detailed medical information about all births in Norway during the period 1967-2005 (Medical Birth Registry). The empirical analyses show that expert parents have a higher rate of Caesarean section than non-expert parents. The educational disparities were considerable 40 years ago, but have become markedly less over time. The analyses provide support for statistical discrimination theory, though agency theory cannot be totally excluded.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
- Epstein, Andrew J. & Nicholson, Sean, 2009.
"The formation and evolution of physician treatment styles: An application to cesarean sections,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1126-1140, December.
- Andrew Epstein & Sean Nicholson, 2005. "The Formation and Evolution of Physician Treatment Styles: An Application to Cesarean Sections," NBER Working Papers 11549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew Epstein & Sean Nicholson, 2005. "The Formation And Evolution Of Physician Treatment Styles: An Application To Cesarean Sections," Working Papers id:176, eSocialSciences.
- Darren Grant, 2008.
"Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Delivery: New Conclusions from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project,"
0801, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
- Grant, Darren, 2009. "Physician financial incentives and cesarean delivery: New conclusions from the healthcare cost and utilization project," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 244-250, January.
- Leone, Tiziana & Padmadas, Sabu S. & Matthews, Zoë, 2008. "Community factors affecting rising caesarean section rates in developing countries: An analysis of six countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1236-1246, October.
- Brown, Iii, H. Shelton, 2007. "Lawsuit activity, defensive medicine, and small area variation: the case of cesarean sections revisited," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 285-296, July.
- Lin, Herng-Ching & Xirasagar, Sudha & Kao, Senyeong, 2004. "Association of hospital ownership with patient transfers to outpatient care under a prospective payment system in Taiwan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 11-19, July.
- Jonathan Gruber & Maria Owings, 1996.
"Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Section Delivery,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 99-123, Spring.
- Jonathan Gruber & Maria Owings, 1994. "Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Section Delivery," NBER Working Papers 4933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Balsa, Ana I. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2003. "Prejudice, clinical uncertainty and stereotyping as sources of health disparities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 89-116, January.
- Gruber, Jon & Kim, John & Mayzlin, Dina, 1999. "Physician fees and procedure intensity: the case of cesarean delivery," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 473-490, August.
- Arima, Yuzo & Guthrie, Brandon L. & Rhew, Isaac C. & De Roos, Anneclaire J., 2009. "The impact of the First Steps prenatal care program on birth outcomes among women receiving Medicaid in Washington State," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 49-54, September.
- Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:163-180. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.