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Regional culture and adaptive behavior of physicians

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  • Desmond Mascarenhas

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  • Amoolya Singh

Abstract

We examine the possibility that regional differentiation of occupations may shed light on how professional behavior adapts to environmental change. Based on the relative prevalence of occupational categories, we defined five geographic regions within the 48 contiguous United States. 77 psychometric, demographic and cultural metrics that covaried significantly with geographic regions by ANOVA were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA), from which three primary clusters emerged. A panel of judges scored the occupations in these clusters for three primary characteristics: generation of variance (Va), reconciliation of variance with institutional procedures (Re) or implementation of standard institutional practice (Pr). By plotting composites of the clustered elements in a 3-dimensional (Va, Re, Pr) matrix, substantially overlapping regional composites emerged for psychological, cultural and occupational metrics. Based on this putative psychological and cultural differentiation of geographic regions, we asked whether adaptive change in physician—and, by extension, of other professional—behavior might be more strongly correlated with intrinsic (e.g. psychological) or extrinsic (e.g. cultural) factors. Based on significant regional differences in patient behavior and minimal regional differences in physician psychology, we suggest that extrinsic factors may play a more direct role in changing professional behavior than intrinsic factors. Copyright The Author(s) 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Desmond Mascarenhas & Amoolya Singh, 2012. "Regional culture and adaptive behavior of physicians," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-266, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:14:y:2012:i:3:p:257-266
    DOI: 10.1007/s10818-011-9115-z
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10818-011-9115-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marengo, Luigi & Dosi, Giovanni, 2005. "Division of labor, organizational coordination and market mechanisms in collective problem-solving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 303-326, October.
    2. Ron A. Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2006. "Why is economic geography not an evolutionary science? Towards an evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 273-302, June.
    3. Michael Storper & Allen J. Scott, 2009. "Rethinking human capital, creativity and urban growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 147-167, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Physician; Adaptive behavior; Regional culture; Evolution of occupations; Socioeconomic evolution; O18;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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