Custom Made Versus Ready to Wear Treatments; Behavioral Propensities in Physician's Choices
Richard G. Frank
Harvard Medical School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Richard J. Zeckhauser
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
NBER Working Paper No. w13445
To customize treatments to individual patients entails costs of coordination and cognition. Thus, providers sometimes choose treatments based on norms for broad classes of patients. We develop behavioral hypotheses explaining when and why doctors customize to the particular patient, and when instead they employ "ready-to-wear" treatments. Our empirical studies examining length of office visits and physician prescribing behavior find evidence of norm-following behavior. Some such behavior, from our studies and from the literature, proves sensible; but other behavior seems far from optimal.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 57working papers series
Date posted: September 28, 2007
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