Alexander Ahammer, Ivan Zilic,
"Do Financial Incentives Alter Physician Prescription Behavior? ? Evidence from Random Patient-GP Allocations"
Do Financial Incentives Alter Physician Prescription Behavior? ? Evidence from Random Patient-GP Allocations
Sprache des Titels:
Do physicians respond to financial incentives? We address this question by analyzing the prescription behavior of physicians who are
allowed to dispense drugs themselves through onsite pharmacies. Our identification strategy rests on multiple pillars: First, we use an extensive
array of covariates along with multi-dimensional fixed effects which account for patient and GP-level heterogeneity as well as sorting of GPs into
onsite pharmacies. Second, we use a novel approach that allows us to restrict our sample to randomly allocated patient-GP matches which rules out
endogenous sorting as well as principal-agent bargaining over prescriptions between patients and GPs. Using administrative data from Austria, we
find evidence that onsite pharmacies have a small negative effect on prescriptions. Although self-dispensing GPs seem to prescribe slightly more
expensive medication, this effect is absorbed by a much smaller likelihood to prescribe something at all in the first place, causing the overall effect
to be negative. An event-study of onsite pharmacies which were exogenously forced to close confirms our results.