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Physician induced demand for C-sections: does the convenience incentive matter?



This paper investigates whther physicians induce demand for C-sections in the days preceding leisure periods. I reject that doctors are meaningfully increasing the number of primary cesareans to accommodate their own preferences for control of deliveries around holiday Mondays. Using a sample of more than 1,300,000 deliveries, I can estimate that the induced demand due to convenience is close to zero. A small significant effect is found for women having had a previous C-section. While I replicate previous results of lower C-section rates on leisure periods, I show that they are due to the way doctors schedule planned cesareans rather than to an induced demand for reason of physicians' convenience. If induced demand occurs, the decision takes place in the labour room and is not planned in advance.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefevre, M., 2014. "Physician induced demand for C-sections: does the convenience incentive matter?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:14/08

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Fabbri, Daniele & Monfardini, Chiara & Castaldini, Ilaria & Protonotari, Adalgisa, 2016. "Cesarean section and the manipulation of exact delivery time," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(7), pages 780-789.

    More about this item


    C-section; convenience incentive; physician induced demand;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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