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Testing for the Role of Prejudice in Emergency Departments Using Bounceback Rates

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  • Shamena Anwar
  • Hanming Fang

Abstract

We propose and empirically implement a test for the presence of racial prejudice among emergency department (ED) physicians based on the bounceback rates of the patients who were discharged after receiving diagnostic tests during their initial ED visits. A bounceback is defined as a return to the ED within 72 hours of being initially discharged. Based on a plausible model of physician behavior, we show that differential bounceback rates across patients of different racial groups who are discharged after receiving diagnostic tests from their ED visits are informative of the racial prejudice of the physicians. Applying the test to administrative data of ED visits from California and New Jersey, we do not find evidence of prejudice against black and Hispanic patients. Our finding suggests that, at least in the emergency department setting, taste based discrimination does not play an important role in the racial disparities in health care.

Suggested Citation

  • Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2011. "Testing for the Role of Prejudice in Emergency Departments Using Bounceback Rates," NBER Working Papers 16888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16888
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
    2. Amitabh Chandra & Douglas O. Staiger, 2010. "Identifying Provider Prejudice in Healthcare," NBER Working Papers 16382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2006. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 127-151, March.
    4. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
    5. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1859-1887.
    6. Stephen L. Ross & John Yinger, 2002. "The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182289, March.
    7. Mechoulan, St├ęphane & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2011. "Assessing Racial Discrimination in Parole Release," CEPR Discussion Papers 8506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Simeonova, Emilia, 2013. "Doctors, patients and the racial mortality gap," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 895-908.
    9. Balsa, Ana I. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2001. "Statistical discrimination in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 881-907, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Arnold & Will Dobbie & Crystal S. Yang, 2017. "Racial Bias in Bail Decisions," NBER Working Papers 23421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2013. "Evaluating treatment protocols using data combination," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 173(2), pages 160-174.
    3. David Arnold & Will Dobbie & Crystal S. Yang, 2017. "Racial Bias in Bail Decisions," Working Papers 611, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Debopam Bhattacharya & Shin Kanaya & Margaret Stevens, 2017. "Are University Admissions Academically Fair?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 449-464, July.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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