Health economists typically use agency theory to predict how physicians respond to various policy schemes. Empirical studies show that many schemes lead to unintended responses, indicating that current theoretical models fail to fully explain physicians’ behaviour. Drawing on key lessons from social psychology and public administration literatures, we propose to expand the principal-agent framework by unfolding physicians’ non-pecuniary motives to provide care using three components: patient benefits, intrinsic motivation, and societal benefits (externalities). We argue how each of these motivational components align with the existing agency framework and provide examples of how to measure the degree to which physicians are motivated by these components. Finally, we discuss how physicians’ non-pecuniary motives can be used to inform policymaking.
|Navn||DaCHE Discussion Papers|
This working paper was presented at The Health Economists’ Study Group (HESG) meeting in York, 8th of January 2019