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Professional Partnerships and Matching in Obstetrics

Author

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  • Andrew Epstein
  • Jonathan D. Ketcham
  • Sean Nicholson

Abstract

Theory indicates that internally-differentiated professional partnerships can promote matching between heterogeneous consumers and professionals, particularly when consumers have imperfect information or markets have barriers to referrals between firms. We test this in obstetrics markets, relying on random assignment of patients to physicians to generate unbiased measures of a physician's treatment style and skill, and on simulations to measure a physician's specialization. Consumers match to professionals along all three dimensions -- specialization, style and skill -- based on consumers' observed characteristics and unobserved preferences. We conclude that internally-differentiated partnerships promote matching in ways that improve consumers' welfare and health.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Epstein & Jonathan D. Ketcham & Sean Nicholson, 2008. "Professional Partnerships and Matching in Obstetrics," NBER Working Papers 14070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14070
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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