Socioeconomic Status and Physicians’Treatment Decisions.

33 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2015

See all articles by Kurt Richard Brekke

Kurt Richard Brekke

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Tor Helge Holmas

University of Bergen - Department of Economics

Karin Monstad

Uni Research AS

Odd Rune Straume

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: May 29, 2015

Abstract

This paper aims at shedding light on the social gradient by studying the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and provision of health care. Using administrative data on services provided by General Practitioners (GPs) in Norway over a five year period (2008-12), we analyse the quantity, composition and value of services provided by the GPs according to patients' SES measured by education, income or ethnicity. Our data allow us to Control or a wide set of patient and GP characteristics. To account for (unobserved) heterogeneity, we limit the sample to patients with a specific disease, diabetes type 2, and estimate a model with GP fixed effects. Our results show that patients with low SES visit the GPs more often, but the value of services provided per visit is lower. The composition of services varies with SES, where patients with low education and African or Asian ethnicity receive more medical tests but shorter consultations, whereas patients with low income receive both shorter consultations and fewer tests. Thus, our results show that GPs differentiate services according to SES, but give no clear evidence for a social gradient in health care provision.

Keywords: Socio-economic status; Primary care; General Practitioners.

JEL Classification: I11; I14; I18

Suggested Citation

Brekke, Kurt Richard and Holmas, Tor Helge and Monstad, Karin and Straume, Odd Rune, Socioeconomic Status and Physicians’Treatment Decisions. (May 29, 2015). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 12/2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2617270 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2617270

Kurt Richard Brekke (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Tor Helge Holmas

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway
+47 55589238 (Phone)
+47 55589210 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.uib.no/stab/torHelge.html

Karin Monstad

Uni Research AS ( email )

Uni Rokkan Centre
Nygårdsgaten 5
5015 Bergen
Norway

Odd Rune Straume

University of Minho - Economic Policies Research Unit (NIPE) ( email )

Campus de Gualtar
Braga, 4710-057
Portugal

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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