Recent experimental studies analyze the behavior of physicians towards patients and find that physicians care for their own profit as well as patient benefit. In this paper, we extend the experimental analysis of the physician decision problem by adding a third party which represents the health insurance that finances medical service provision under a prospective payment scheme. Our results show that physicians take into account the payoffs of the third party, which can lead to underprovision of medical care. We conduct a laboratory experiment in neutral as well as in medical framing using students and medical doctors as subjects. Subjects in the medically framed experiments behave weakly more patient orientated in contrast to neutral framing. A sample of medical doctors exhibits comparable behavior to students with medical framing.

Reif, Simon, Lucas Hafner and Michael Seebauer (2020), Physician Behavior under Prospective Payment Schemes - Evidence from Artefactual Field and Lab Experiments, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(15), 5540. Download


Reif, Simon
Hafner, Lucas
Seebauer, Michael


health economic experiment; framing; physician behavior; prospective payment schemes