Interpreting Signals: Evidence from Doctor Referrals

Date: 

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 11:40am to 1:00pm

Location: 

WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman 102

Heather Sarsons, PhD candidate in Economics, Harvard University

In this seminar, Heather Sarsons tests whether the way people update their beliefs disadvantages women and contributes to gender gaps in labor market outcomes. Using data on referrals from primary care physicians (PCPs) to surgeons, she documents how PCPs update their beliefs about surgeons following good and bad patient outcomes. Heather finds that PCPs view the same patient outcome differently depending on the surgeon’s gender. Men benefit more from a good patient outcome while women are punished more for a bad patient outcome.