Professional Partnerships and Matching in Obstetrics

47 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008 Last revised: 13 Jun 2021

See all articles by Andrew Joel Epstein

Andrew Joel Epstein

Yale University - School of Public Health

Jonathan Ketcham

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department

Sean Nicholson

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

Theory indicates that internally-differentiated professional partnerships can promote matching between heterogeneous consumers and professionals, particularly when consumers have imperfect information or markets have barriers to referrals between firms. We test this in obstetrics markets, relying on random assignment of patients to physicians to generate unbiased measures of a physician's treatment style and skill, and on simulations to measure a physician's specialization. Consumers match to professionals along all three dimensions -- specialization, style and skill -- based on consumers' observed characteristics and unobserved preferences. We conclude that internally-differentiated partnerships promote matching in ways that improve consumers' welfare and health.

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Andrew Joel and Ketcham, Jonathan D. and Nicholson, Sean, Professional Partnerships and Matching in Obstetrics (June 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14070, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1143982

Andrew Joel Epstein

Yale University - School of Public Health

PO Box 208034
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Jonathan D. Ketcham

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-4106
United States
4809655507 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://wpcarey.asu.edu/directory/people/profile.cfm?person=2179827

Sean Nicholson (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

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United States
607-254-6498 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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