Style of practice and assortative mating: a recursive probit analysis of Caesarean section scheduling in Italy

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Abstract:

We study practice variation in scheduling of caesarean section (CS) delivery across public and private hospitals in Italy. Adopting a novel perspective, we look at the role played by patients' preferences for the treatment. The recursive probit model is revisited as a useful tool to assess the presence of assortative mating of patients and provider driven by style of practice. According to our evidence, the propensity to schedule a CS is codetermined with patient self-sorting into hospital types. We measure a significantly higher inclination to practice CS scheduling in private hospitals and conclude that assortative mating is of minor relevance in our case, even if we cannot exclude it to be present.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840600771395

Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Piazza Scaravilli 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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