NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Wanchuan Lin

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Working Papers

June 2012Using Audit Studies to Test for Physician Induced Demand: The Case of Antibiotic Abuse in China
with Janet Currie, Juanjuan Meng: w18153
The overuse of medical services including antibiotics is often blamed on Physician Induced Demand. But since this theory is about physician motivations, it is difficult to test. We conduct an audit study in which physician financial incentives, beliefs about what patients want, and desires to reciprocate for a small gift are systematically varied. We find that all of these treatments reduce antibiotics prescriptions, suggesting that antibiotics abuse in China is not driven by patients actively demanding antibiotics, by physicians believing that patients want antibiotics, or by physicians believing that antibiotics are in the best interests of their patients, but is largely driven by financial incentives. Our results also show that physician behavior can be significantly influenced by t...
December 2010Patient Knowledge and Antibiotic Abuse: Evidence from an Audit Study in China
with Janet Currie, Wei Zhang: w16602
We ask how patient knowledge of appropriate antibiotic usage affects both physicians prescribing behavior and the physician-patient relationship. We conduct an audit study in which a pair of simulated patients with identical flu-like complaints visits the same physician. Simulated patient A is instructed to ask a question that showcases his/her knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use, whereas patient B is instructed to say nothing beyond describing his/her symptoms. We find that a patient's knowledge of appropriate antibiotics use reduces both antibiotic prescription rates and drug expenditures. Such knowledge also increases physicians' information provision about possible side effects, but has a negative impact on the quality of the physician-patient interactions.

Published: Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Zhang, Wei, 2011. "Patient knowledge and antibiotic abuse: Evidence from an audit study in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 933-949. citation courtesy of

July 2008Has Public Health Insurance for Older Children Reduced Disparities in Access to Care and Health Outcomes?
with Janet Currie, Sandra Decker: w14173
This paper investigates the effects of expanding public health insurance eligibility for older children. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 1986 to 2005, we first show that although income continues to be an important predictor of children's health status, the importance of income for predicting health has fallen for children 9 to 17 in recent years. We then investigate the extent to which the dramatic expansions in public health insurance coverage for these children in the past decade are responsible for the decline in the importance of income. We find that while eligibility for public health insurance unambiguously improves current utilization of preventive care, it has little effect on current health status. However, we find some evidence that Medicaid eligibil...

Published: Currie, Janet & Decker, Sandra & Lin, Wanchuan, 2008. "Has public health insurance for older children reduced disparities in access to care and health outcomes?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1567-1581, December. citation courtesy of

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