NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Erin M. Johnson

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Working Papers

September 2016A Doctor Will See You Now: Physician-Patient Relationships and Clinical Decisions
with M. Marit Rehavi, David C. Chan, Jr, Daniela Carusi: w22666
We estimate the effect of physician-patient relationships on clinical decisions in a setting where the treating physician is as good as randomly assigned. OBs are 25% (4 percentage points) more likely to perform a C-section when delivering patients with whom they have a pre-existing clinical relationship (their “own patients”) than when delivering patients with whom they had no prior relationship. OBs’ decisions are consistent with receiving greater disutility from their own patients’ difficult labors. After a string of difficult labors, OBs are more likely to perform C-sections on their own patients, and this can explain the entire own patient effect.
July 2013Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth
with M. Marit Rehavi: w19242
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 outcom...

Published: Johnson, Erin M., and M. Marit Rehavi. 2016. "Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 8(1): 115-41.

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