DEMS Economics Seminar: Amanda Dahlstrand (University of Zurich)

Wednesday, February 7 at 12:00pm, Seminar Room 2104, Buiding U7-2nd floor

Online versus In-Person Services: Effects on Patients and Providers


The DEMS Economics Seminar series is proud to host   

Amanda Dahlstrand

(University of Zurich) 

with N. Le Nestour and G. Michaels


In a hybrid world, which services should be provided online, and to whom? This is an important decision in many settings, including healthcare provision, but we have relatively little evidence about it. Here we directly compare the consequences of online to in-person patient consultations with doctors (primary care physicians). We assemble new data, which follow individual patients in Sweden, who in 2019-2020 were registered with a large provider offering both online and in-person consultations. We use effectively random variation in the assignment of patients to nurses with different propensities to direct to online versus in-person doctor consultations. Using the nurse propensity to direct to online as an instrument, we study the consequences of online doctor consultations on a range of healthcare outcomes and cost measures. These include the duration of the consultation as a whole and of its patient-facing part; the probabilities of an informative diagnosis, the prescription of medications, and a specialist referral; and the probabilities that shortly after the consultation the patient visits an emergency department or is hospitalized. We also shed light on the characteristics of patients who are more likely to consider an online consultation a replacement for an in-person one.


The seminar will be in presence, Seminar Room 2104, Building U7-2nd floor