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Risk Attitudes in Medical Decisions for Others: An Experimental Approach

Author

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  • Alejandro Arrieta

    (Florida International University)

  • Ariadna García-Prado

    (Universidad Pública de Navarra)

  • Paula González

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Jose Luis Pinto-Prades

    (Universidad de Navarra)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate how risk attitudes in medical decisions for others vary across health contexts. A lab experiment was designed to elicit the risk attitudes of 257 students by assigning them the role of a physician who must decide between treatments for patients. An interval regression model was used to estimate individual coefficients of relative risk aversion, and an estimation model was used to test for the effect of type of medical decision and experiment design characteristics on elicited risk aversion. We find that: (i) risk preferences for decisions involving life expectancy are different from those involving quality of life, but risk aversion prevails in all types of medical decisions; (ii) students enrolled in health-related degrees show a higher degree of risk aversion; and (iii) real rewards for third parties (patients) make subjects less risk-averse. The results underline the importance of accounting for doctors’ attitudes towards risk in medical decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Arrieta & Ariadna García-Prado & Paula González & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades, 2016. "Risk Attitudes in Medical Decisions for Others: An Experimental Approach," Working Papers 16.07, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:16.07
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Martinsson & Emil Persson, 2019. "Physician behavior and conditional altruism: the effects of payment system and uncertain health benefit," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 87(3), pages 365-387, October.
    2. Finocchiaro Castro, Massimo & Guccio, Calogero & Romeo, Domenica, 2022. "A systematic literature review of 10 years of behavioral research on health services," EconStor Preprints 266248, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    3. Jacob Smith, 2023. "Considering Risk Aversion in Economic Evaluation: A Rank Dependent Approach," Papers 2311.07905, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2024.
    4. Thomas, Elizabeth C. & Bass, Sarah Bauerle & Siminoff, Laura A., 2021. "Beyond rationality: Expanding the practice of shared decision making in modern medicine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 277(C).
    5. Castro, M.F.; & Guccio, C.; & Romeo, D.;, 2022. "An assessment of physicians’ risk attitudes using laboratory and field data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 22/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Méndez, Susan J. & Scott, Anthony & Zhang, Yuting, 2021. "Gender differences in physician decisions to adopt new prescription drugs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 277(C).
    7. Sebastian Neumann-Böhme & Stefan A. Lipman & Werner B. F. Brouwer & Arthur E. Attema, 2021. "Trust me; I know what I am doing investigating the effect of choice list elicitation and domain-relevant training on preference reversals in decision making for others," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 22(5), pages 679-697, July.
    8. Arthur E. Attema & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier l’Haridon & Stefan A. Lipman, 2020. "A comparison of individual and collective decision making for standard gamble and time trade-off," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(3), pages 465-473, April.
    9. Murong Yang & Laurence S. J. Roope & James Buchanan & Arthur E. Attema & Philip M. Clarke & A. Sarah Walker & Sarah Wordsworth, 2022. "Eliciting risk preferences that predict risky health behavior: A comparison of two approaches," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(5), pages 836-858, May.
    10. Eckhaus, Eyal & Iholkina, Vasylyna & Shkolnik, Eleonora, 2022. "The impact of healthcare executive seniority on implementation of innovative methods of diagnosis and prevention," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 126(10), pages 996-1001.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    physicians; risk aversion; health contexts; laboratory experiment; multiple price list format.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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