Mums Go Online: Is the Internet Changing the Demand for Healthcare?
Sofia Amaral Garcia,
Carol Propper and
Tommaso Valletti ()
No 13625, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We study the effect of internet diffusion on childbirth procedures performed in England between 2000 and 2011. We exploit an identification strategy based on geographical discontinuities in internet access generated by technological factors. We show that broadband internet access increased Cesarean-sections: mothers living in areas with better internet access are 2.3 percent more likely to have a C-section than mothers living in areas with worse internet access. The effect is driven by first-time mothers who are 6.1 percent more likely to obtain an elective C-section. The increased C-section rate is not accompanied by changes in health care outcomes of mothers and newborns. Health care costs increased with no corresponding medical benefits for patients. Heterogeneity analysis shows that mothers with low income and low education are those more affected: thanks to the internet, they progressively close the C-section gap with mothers with higher income and education. We show evidence documenting the growing importance of the internet as a source of health related information, and we argue that patient's access to online information is changing the relationship between health care providers and patients.
Keywords: c-sections; Information; internet (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hea and nep-pay
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at email@example.com
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13625
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... rs/dp.php?dpno=13625
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().