Market Structure and Gender Disparity in Health Care: Preferences, Competition, and Quality of Care
Posted: 29 Aug 2010 Last revised: 29 Jun 2015
Date Written: April 1, 2013
This paper considers the relationship between market structure and health outcomes in a setting where patients have stark preferences: urology patients disproportionately match with a urologist of the same gender. In the United States, however, fewer than 6% of urologists are women despite women constituting 30% of patients. We explain a portion of this disparity with a model of imperfect competition in which urology groups strategically differentiate themselves by employing female urologists. These strategic effects may influence women's health, as markets without a female urologist have a 7.3% higher death rate for female bladder cancer, all else equal.
Keywords: Health Economics, Gender Discrimination, Structural Market Entry and Product Choice Models
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