Daniel Avdic, Monash University

"My way or the highway? The influence of peers in the formation and consequences of physician practice styles"



Abstract

We study the influence of peers on physician treatment decisions and whether such decisions affect quality of care provision using data on more than 30,000 coronary catheterization procedures performed in Swedish hospitals. Our empirical approach compares changes in physician practice style and patient clinical outcomes for migrating cardiologists before and after they relocated to a new hospital relative to non-migrating cardiologists. To disentangle practice style changes attributable to structural (hospital) and social (peers) factors, we exploit detailed information on physician teams within hospitals. Our findings suggest that: (i) cardiologists rapidly and permanently adapt their practice style to the new environment after relocating; (ii) changes in practice style are mainly driven by migrating cardiologists’ peer groups; and (iii) quality of care is largely unaffected by changes in practice style. Supplementary robustness checks do not indicate that selective migration is an important concern.

The seminar is financed by a grant from the Novo Nordisk foundation

Daniel Avdic is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics at Monash Business School. He holds a PhD in Economics from Uppsala University. His research interests include health and labour economics and applied microeconometrics.