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The physician-patient relationship as a game of strategic information transmission


  • Kris De Jaegher

    (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium)

  • Marc Jegers

    (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium)


We show that the intuition underlying the supplier-induced demand (SID) hypothesis is reflected in the cheap-talk literature from game theory, and in the credence-good literature from the economics of information. Applying these theories, we conclude that a neoclassical version of the SID hypothesis is only relevant for treatment decisions involving an expensive treatment that is equally effective in curing several states, but efficient in curing only some of these states (in that a cheaper treatment is efficient otherwise). For a simple game involving such a treatment decision, we show that a Nash equilibrium exists where the patient is able to constrain the physician in inducing demand, without the market for the potentially induced treatment failing. This equilibrium allows us to derive comparative statistics and welfare results. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Kris De Jaegher & Marc Jegers, 2001. "The physician-patient relationship as a game of strategic information transmission," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(7), pages 651-668.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:10:y:2001:i:7:p:651-668 DOI: 10.1002/hec.603

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcello Montefiori & Marina Resta, 2009. "A computational approach for the health care market," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 344-350, December.
    2. Hyndman, Kyle & Ozerturk, Saltuk, 2011. "Consumer information in a market for expert services," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 628-640.
    3. Mimra, Wanda & Rasch, Alexander & Waibel, Christian, 2016. "Second opinions in markets for expert services: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PB), pages 106-125.
    4. José Luis Lima R. & Javier Nuñez E., 2004. "Experimental Analysis of the Reputational Incentives in a Self Regulated Organization," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 194, Econometric Society.
    5. Schottmüller, Christoph, 2013. "Cost incentives for doctors: A double-edged sword," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 43-58.
    6. Marcello Montefiori, 2008. "Information vs advertising in the market for hospital care," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, September.
    7. Helmut Bester & Matthias Dahm, 2014. "Credence Goods, Costly Diagnosis, and Subjective Evaluation," Discussion Papers 2014-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Arrieta, Alejandro, 2007. "A Structural Misclassifcation Model to Estimate the Impact of Physician Incentives on Healthcare Utilization," MPRA Paper 6718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Karlsson, Martin, 2007. "Quality incentives for GPs in a regulated market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 699-720, July.
    10. F. Barigozzi & R. Levaggi, 2005. "New Developments in Physician Agency: the Role of Patient Information," Working Papers 550, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Dmitry Lubensky & Eric Schmidbauer, 2013. "Physician Overtreatment and Undertreatment with Partial Delegation," Working Papers 2013-03, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    12. K.J.M. De Jaegher, 2012. "The value of private information in the physician-patient relationship: a gametheoretic account," Working Papers 12-23, Utrecht School of Economics.
    13. Eric Schmidbauer & Dmitry Lubensky, 2016. "Equilibrium Informativeness in Veto-Based Delegation," Working Papers 2016-03, University of Central Florida, Department of Economics.
    14. Bin Xie & David M. Dilts & Mikhael Shor, 2006. "The physician-patient relationship: the impact of patient-obtained medical information," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 813-833.
    15. Dominik Erharter, 2012. "Credence goods markets, distributional preferences and the role of institutions," Working Papers 2012-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    16. Barigozzi, Francesca & Levaggi, Rosella, 2008. "Emotions in physician agency," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-14, October.
    17. Alex Barrachina & Víctor González-Chordá, 2016. "To report or not to report: Applying game theory to nursing error reporting," Working Papers 2016/14, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

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