Gender Identity, Race, and Ethnicity Discrimination in Access to Mental Health Care: Preliminary Evidence from a Multi-Wave Audit Field Experiment
Luca Fumarco and
No 28164, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
A broad body of interdisciplinary research establishes that transgender and non-binary individuals face discrimination across many contexts, including healthcare. Simultaneously, transgender individuals face various mental health disparities, including higher rates of depression and anxiety, suicidality, and PTSD. Therefore, understanding the role of discrimination in access to mental health care is essential. However, no previous research quantifies the extent to which transgender and non-binary people face discrimination in mental healthcare markets. We provide the first experimental evidence, using an audit study, of the extent to which cisgender women, transgender women, transgender men, non-binary people, and racial and ethnic minorities (African American and Hispanic individuals) face discrimination in access to mental health services. While data collection is ongoing, we find significant discrimination against transgender or non-binary African Americans and Hispanics in access to mental health care appointments.
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