Caesarean Section and the Manipulation of Exact Delivery Time
Quaderni Working Paper DSE No. 1036
31 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 23, 2015
Physicians are often alleged responsible for the manipulation of delivery timing. We investigate this issue in a setting that negates the influence of financial incentives behind “physician’s demand induction” but allows for “risk aversion” to medical errors and “demand for leisure” motivations. Working on a sample of women admitted at the onset of labor in a big public hospital in Italy we estimate a model for the exact time of delivery as driven by individual indication to receive Caesarean Section (CS) and covariates. We find that ICS does not affect the day of delivery but leads to a circadian rhythm in the likelihood of delivery. The pattern is consistent with the postponement of high ICS deliveries in the late night\early morning shift. Our evidence hardly supports the manipulation of timing of births as driven by medical staff’s “demand for leisure”. An explanation based on “risk aversion” attitude seems more appropriate.
Keywords: timing of delivery, physician incentives, caesarean section, scheduling
JEL Classification: I11, L23, C35, C51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation