Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks

63 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018

See all articles by Leila Agha

Leila Agha

Boston University

Keith M. Marzilli Ericson

Boston University - Markets, Public Policy, and Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kimberley Geissler

University of Massachusetts Amherst

James B. Rebitzer

Boston University School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: February 2018

Abstract

How does team‐specific capital affect productivity? We examine the teams that primary care physicians (PCPs) assemble when referring patients to specialists. Our theoretical model finds that team‐specific capital is greater when PCPs concentrate their referrals within a smaller set of specialists. Empirically, we find patients of PCPs with concentrated referrals have lower healthcare costs, with no discernable reduction in quality. This effect exists for commercially insured and Medicare populations; is statistically and economically significant; and holds under identification strategies that account for unobserved patient and physician characteristics.

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Suggested Citation

Agha, Leila and Ericson, Keith M. Marzilli and Geissler, Kimberley and Rebitzer, James B., Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks (February 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24338. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3127167

Leila Agha (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Keith M. Marzilli Ericson

Boston University - Markets, Public Policy, and Law ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kimberley Geissler

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Operations and Information Managemen
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

James B. Rebitzer

Boston University School of Management ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States
617 353 4605 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
United States

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