*Boston University. I would like to thank Arnold Arluke, William Brainard, William Capron, Al Klevorick, Richard Nelson, Peter Temin, and Robert Wolf for their helpful comments. I am especially grateful to Michael Manove for a series of very helpful discussions of the ideas of this paper.
PATIENTS‘ TRUST AND THE QUALITY OF PHYSICIANS
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 203–222, April 1983
How to Cite
McGUIRE, T. G. (1983), PATIENTS‘ TRUST AND THE QUALITY OF PHYSICIANS. Economic Inquiry, 21: 203–222. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1983.tb00626.x
- Issue published online: 28 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
Patients are uncertain of physicians' quality but learn about the quality of particular physicians through experience in treatment. Patients come to trust physicians who have served them well. This paper explores the economic consequences of patients' learning and trust within a model of the market for physicians' services. In a market equilibrium, there are too many incompetent physicians in practice. Surprisingly, even the more competent physicians have an interest in preventing patients from judging quality except through experience. As we show, all physicians, including the most competent, may oppose steps to inform patients of physicians' quality.