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Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth

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  • Erin M. Johnson
  • M. Marit Rehavi

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the interaction between patient information and financial incentives in physician induced demand (PID). Using rich microdata on childbirth, we compare the treatment of physicians when they are patients with that of comparable non-physicians. We exploit a unique institutional feature of California to determine how inducement varies with obstetricians' financial incentives. Consistent with PID, physicians are almost 10 percent less likely to receive a C-section, with only a quarter of this effect attributable to differential sorting of patients to hospitals or obstetricians. Financial incentives have a large effect on C-section probabilities for non-physicians, but physician-patients are relatively unaffected. Physicians also have better health outcomes, suggesting overuse of C-sections adversely impacts patient health.

Suggested Citation

  • Erin M. Johnson & M. Marit Rehavi, 2013. "Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth," NBER Working Papers 19242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19242
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC papers for August 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-08-01 04:00:48

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacobson, Mireille G. & Chang, Tom Y. & Earle, Craig C. & Newhouse, Joseph P., 2017. "Physician agency and patient survival," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 27-47.
    2. Goldin, Jacob & Reck, Daniel, 2018. "Revealed Preference Analysis with Framing Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 13232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "The pros and cons of workplace tournaments," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 302-302, October.
    4. Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2017. "Deception and reception: The behavior of information providers and users," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 445-456.
    5. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre Dubé & Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2015. "Do Pharmacists Buy Bayer? Informed Shoppers and the Brand Premium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1669-1726.
    6. Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2017. "Exploring the Nexus between Certainty in Injury Compensation and Treatment Selection," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp603, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. Sara Allin & Michael Baker & Maripier Isabelle & Mark Stabile, 2015. "Physician Incentives and the Rise in C-sections: Evidence from Canada," NBER Working Papers 21022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2017. "Diagnosing Expertise: Human Capital, Decision Making, and Performance among Physicians," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-43.
    9. Abe Dunn & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2018. "Physician Competition and the Provision of Care: Evidence from Heart Attacks," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 4(2), pages 226-261, Spring.
    10. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    11. W. Bentley MacLeod, 2017. "Viewpoint: The human capital approach to inference," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 5-39, February.
    12. Eric Schmidbauer & Dmitry Lubensky, 2016. "Equilibrium Informativeness in Veto-Based Delegation," Working Papers 2016-03, University of Central Florida, Department of Economics.
    13. Aleksandr Proshin & Alexandre Cazenave-Lacroutz & Zeynep Or & Lise Rochaix, 2018. "Impact of Diagnosis Related Group Refinement on the Choice Between Scheduled Caesarean Section and Normal Delivery: Recent Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-01812107, HAL.
    14. repec:kap:poprpr:v:37:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9452-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alexander, Diane, 2015. "Does Physician Pay Affect Procedure Choice and Patient Health? Evidence from Medicaid C-section Use," Working Paper Series WP-2017-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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