Gender homophily in referral networks: Consequences for the medicare physician earnings

Dan Zeltzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

I assess the extent to which the gender gap in physician earnings may be driven by physicians' preference for referring to specialists of the same gender. Analyzing administrative data on 100 million Medicare patient referrals, I provide robust evidence that doctors refer more to specialists of their own gender. I show that biased referrals are predominantly driven by physicians' decisions rather than by endogenous sorting of physicians or patients. Because most referring doctors are male, the net impact of same-gender bias by both male and female doctors generates lower demand for female relative to male specialists, pointing to a positive externality for increased female participation in medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-197
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Funding

FundersFunder number
Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Gender homophily in referral networks: Consequences for the medicare physician earnings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this