Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 325–346

Gender Preference and Equilibrium in the Imperfectly Competitive Market for Physician Services

  • Jessica Wolpaw Reyes


I analyze how the imperfectly competitive market for obstetricians and gynecologists (ob-gyns) clears in the face of an excess demand for female ob-gyns. This excess demand arises because all ob-gyn patients are women, many women prefer a female ob-gyn, and only a small portion of ob-gyns are female. I find that both money and non-money prices adjust: female ob-gyns charge higher fees and also have longer waiting times. Furthermore, institutional structure matters: waiting times adjust more when fees are inflexible. In the end, female ob-gyns capture some but not all of the value of the preferred service they provide.


physicians gender imperfect competition customer discrimination 

JEL Classifications

I11 J16 J44 

Copyright information

© Eastern Economic Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Wolpaw Reyes
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAmherst CollegeAmherstUSA
  2. 2.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA

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