Doctor-patient differences in risk and time preferences: a field experiment

Matteo M Galizzi, Marisa Miraldo, Charitini Stavropoulou, Marjon Van Der Pol

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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We conduct a framed field experiment among patients and doctors to test whether the two groups have similar risk and time preferences. We elicit risk and time preferences using multiple price list tests and their adaptations to the healthcare context. Risk and time preferences are compared in terms of switching points in the tests and the structurally estimated behavioural parameters. We find that doctors and patients significantly differ in their time preferences: doctors discount
future outcomes less heavily than patients. We find no evidence that doctors and patients systematically differ in their risk preferences in the healthcare domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Early online date19 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Financial support for this study was provided entirely by a Pump-priming grant from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Surrey. We gratefully acknowledge this funding from the University of Surrey. The funding agreement ensured the authors' independence in designing the study, interpreting the data, writing, and publishing the report. We thank Nigel Rice, three anonymous referees, and all participants of the Health Economics Research Unit seminar in Aberdeen (October 2013); the Health Economics Study Group workshop in Warwick (June 2013); and the Health Economics Research Centre seminar in Oxford (July 2013) for useful comments and suggestions. We are grateful to Aikaterini Anestaki, Omiros Stavropoulos and Theodoros Thomaidis for assistance with the data collection.


  • field experiments
  • risk aversion
  • impatience
  • doctor-patient relationship


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