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Does Diversity Matter for Health? Experimental Evidence from Oakland

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  • Marcella Alsan
  • Owen Garrick
  • Grant C. Graziani

Abstract

We study the effect of physician workforce diversity on the demand for preventive care among African-American men. In an experiment in Oakland, California, we randomize black men to black or non-black male medical doctors. We use a two-stage design, measuring decisions before (pre-consultation) and after (post-consultation) meeting their assigned doctor. Subjects select a similar number of preventives in the preconsultation stage, but are much more likely to select every preventive service, particularly invasive services, once meeting with a racially concordant doctor. Our findings suggest black doctors could reduce the black-white male gap in cardiovascular mortality by 19%.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcella Alsan & Owen Garrick & Grant C. Graziani, 2018. "Does Diversity Matter for Health? Experimental Evidence from Oakland," NBER Working Papers 24787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24787
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilia Simeonova & Niels Skipper & Peter R. Thingholm, 2020. "Physician Health Management Skills and Patient Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 26735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kets, Willemien & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2019. "A belief-based theory of homophily," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 410-435.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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