The Production of and Market for New Physicians&Apos; Skill

44 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013

See all articles by Andrew Epstein

Andrew Epstein

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Sean Nicholson

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

David A. Asch

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

Our understanding of the determinants of physician skill and the extent to which skill is valued in the marketplace is superficial. Using a large, detailed panel of new obstetricians, we find that, even though physicians' maternal complication rates improve steadily with years of practice, initial skill (as measured by performance in a physician's first year of practice) explains most of the variation in physician performance over time. At the same time, we find that the trajectories of new physicians' delivery volume develop in a way partially consistent with Bayesian learning about physician quality. In particular, as physicians gain experience, their volume becomes increasingly sensitive to the information in their accumulated prior.

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Andrew and Nicholson, Sean and Asch, David A., The Production of and Market for New Physicians&Apos; Skill (January 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18678, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196741

Andrew Epstein

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Sean Nicholson

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

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-254-6498 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David A. Asch

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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