Do doctors improve the health care of their parents? Evidence from admission lotteries

Elisabeth Artmann and Hessel Oosterbeek and Bas van der Klaauw

To assess the importance of limited access to medical expertise, we exploit admission lotteries to medical school in the Netherlands to estimate the causal effects of having a child who is a doctor on parents’ health outcomes. We use data on health care use and mortality of parents of 22,000 lottery participants. Results reject that health outcomes of doctors’ parents differ from those of non-doctors’ parents. This suggests that easy, in- formal access to medical expertise is not an important driver of differences in health care use and mortality. This is consistent with institutions that provide equal health care for all.

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