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“Racial discrimination in healthcare worker preferences” by Dartmouth Discrimination Group

February 10, 2021 @ 9:00 am 10:00 am JST

Registration required!

Authors: Reilly Olinger (Dartmouth), Benjamin R. Matejka (Dartmouth), Rohan Chakravarty (Dartmouth), Margaret Johnston (Dartmouth), Eliana Ornelas (Dartmouth), Julia Draves (Dartmouth), Nishi Jain (Dartmouth), Jane H. Hentschel (Dartmouth), William L. Owen (Dartmouth), Yuchuan Ma (Dartmouth), William Marx (Dartmouth), Joshua P. Freitag (Dartmouth), Nicholas Zhang (Dartmouth), Cameron Guage (Dartmouth), and Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth).

Abstract: Do Americans racially discriminate against healthcare workers? While a large literature shows that ethnic and racial biases pervade the American labor market, there has been no systematic examination of these biases in terms of who patients select for medical care. We examine this question in the context of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, where a wealth of qualitative evidence suggests that discrimination against ethnic minorities has increased throughout the United States. In this pre-analysis plan, we describe a novel and uniquely large conjoint experiment that will be conducted with a national sample of 3,000 Americans to test for racial biases in doctor selection. We expect that while all respondents will prefer doctors with more prestigious medical credentials, higher levels of experience, and better patient reviews, we also expect to find evidence of systematic biases. Specifically, we expect to find that respondents will be less likely to select Asian, Black, and Latinx doctors relative to White doctors. Importantly, we expect that our effects will vary by political party—with Republican respondents being much more biased against racial minorities than Democrats (who, instead, tend to favor these minority groups). This suggests that the political party of patients shapes key decisions they make about their health, even amidst dire medical circumstances, and likely to the detriment of their own health.

Discussants: TBD. 

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