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Profit or Patients' Health Benefit? Exploring the Heterogeneity in Physician Altruism

Author

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  • Godager, Geir

    () (Department of Health Management and Health Economics)

  • Wiesen, Daniel

    () (BonnEconLab, Laboratory for Experimental Economics, University of Bonn and Chair of Quantitative)

Abstract

This paper investigates physician altruism toward patients’ health benefit using behavioral data from the fully incentivized laboratory experiment of Hennig-Schmidt et al. (2011). This setup identifies both physicians’ profits and patients’ health benefit resulting from medical treatment decisions. We estimate a random utility model applying multinomial logit regression, finding that physicians attach a positive weight on patients’ health benefit. Furthermore, physicians vary substantially in their degree of altruism. Finally, we provide some implications for the design of physician payment schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Godager, Geir & Wiesen, Daniel, 2011. "Profit or Patients' Health Benefit? Exploring the Heterogeneity in Physician Altruism," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2011:7, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2011_007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2015. "Professional norms and physician behavior: Homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-11.
    2. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Wiesen, Daniel, 2014. "Other-regarding behavior and motivation in health care provision: An experiment with medical and non-medical students," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 156-165.
    3. Han, Johann & Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja & Vomhof, Markus, 2016. "Quality competition and hospital mergers: An experiment," Ruhr Economic Papers 609, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Kristensen, Søren Rud & Siciliani, Luigi & Sutton, Matt, 2016. "Optimal price-setting in pay for performance schemes in health care," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 57-77.
    5. Anthony Scott & Peter Sivey, 2017. "Motivation and Competition in Health Care," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2017n05, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Lagarde, Mylène & Blaauw, Duane, 2017. "Physicians’ responses to financial and social incentives: A medically framed real effort experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 147-159.
    7. Clemens, Jeffrey, 2014. "Implications of Physician Ethics, Billing Norms, and Service Cost Structures for Medicare's Fee Schedule," MPRA Paper 73392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Pedersen, Line Bjørnskov & Hess, Stephane & Kjær, Trine, 2016. "Asymmetric information and user orientation in general practice: Exploring the agency relationship in a best–worst scaling study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 115-130.
    9. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Hehenkamp, Burkhard & Kokot, Johanna, 2016. "The effects of competition on medical service provision," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145589, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Li, JingJing & Godager, Geir & Wang, Jian, 2016. "Does physician gender influence the provision of medical care? An experimental study," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2016:6, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    11. Waibel, Christian & Wiesen, Daniel, 2016. "Kickbacks, referrals and efficiency in health care markets: Experimental evidence," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2016:8, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    12. Godager, Geir & Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Iversen, Tor, 2016. "Does performance disclosure influence physicians’ medical decisions? An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PB), pages 36-46.
    13. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Kenneth L. Leonard, 2016. "Generosity and Prosocial Behavior in Healthcare Provision: Evidence from the Laboratory and Field," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(1), pages 133-162.
    14. Godager, Geir & Iversen, Tor & Hennig-Schmidt, Heike, 2013. "Does performance disclosure influence physicians’ medical decisions? An experimental analysis," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2013:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    15. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 642-659.
    16. Oxholm, Anne Sophie, 2016. "Physician Response to Target-Based Performance Payment," COHERE Working Paper 2016:9, University of Southern Denmark, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research.
    17. Hafner, Lucas & Reif, Simon & Seebauer, Michael, 2017. "Physician behavior under prospective payment schemes: Evidence from artefactual field and lab experiments," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 18/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    18. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payment incentives; Physician altruism; Health Care Quantity;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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