Economics Weekly Seminar
November 6, 2018 @ 1:30 pm - 2:40 pm
- This event has passed.
Title: Social connections and public healthcare utilization
Speaker: Tarun Jain, Indian School of Business
Abstract: Use of tertiary healthcare by socially proximate peers helps individuals learn about program and treatment procedures, signals that using such care is socially appropriate, and can support use of formal healthcare, all of which could increase program utilization. This paper uses complete administrative data on claims from a publicly financed tertiary care program in India to estimate that the elasticity of first-time claims with respect to utilization by members of caste peers within the village is 0.046, with smaller effects of more socially distant individuals. Use by social connections is associated with 3.2% lower in-patient care expenditures. We find support for an information channel as peers increase awareness of the program and its features, and have the strongest influence on utilization of complex procedures (oncology, poly-trauma, and cardiology), while using private hospitals, among men and in dense urban areas.