Doctor Who? The Effect of Physician-Patient Match on The SES-Health Gradient

CEBI Working Paper Series, 2022

72 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2022 Last revised: 20 Jul 2022

See all articles by Ida Lykke Kristiansen

Ida Lykke Kristiansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Sophie Yanying Sheng

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 19, 2022

Abstract

We investigate whether primary care physician and patient concordance in terms of socio-economic status (SES) reduces the SES inequality in health. We measure physicians' SES by their childhood SES and find that SES concordance decreases low-SES patients' mortality, while high-SES patients' mortality does not depend on their physicians' background. Together, they translate to a 24% reduction in the SES-mortality gradient. SES concordance changes the health behavior of the patient and increases treatment of chronic conditions: low-SES patients with low-SES physicians receive more care at the intensive margin, have a higher detection of chronic conditions, and have higher adherence to treatment.

Note:
Funding Information: Support from the Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI) at the University of Copenhagen, financed by grant DNRF134 from the Danish National Research Foundation.

Conflict of Interests: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Keywords: Health inequality, physician practice style, intergenerational transmission, family background, socio-economic status, health behaviors

JEL Classification: I12, I14, I18, I24, J62

Suggested Citation

Kristiansen, Ida Lykke and Sheng, Sophie Yanying, Doctor Who? The Effect of Physician-Patient Match on The SES-Health Gradient (July 19, 2022). CEBI Working Paper Series, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4152145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4152145

Ida Lykke Kristiansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bygn 26
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

Sophie Yanying Sheng (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States

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