Physician-induced demand, whereby physicians alter patient treatment for personal gain, lies at the heart of concerns about publicly provided health care. However, little is known about how payment systems affect the ultimate outcome of patient health. Exploiting a unique policy induced variation in Denmark, I investigate the impact of physician payment contracts on infant health. In a difference-in-differences framework, I find that firstborn infants exposed in the womb to the care of general practitioners with capitation contracts have poorer infant health outcomes than infants exposed to fee-for-service contracts. The firstborn children of younger women primarily drive the effects.
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© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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