Medical occupation preference under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of risk and altruistic preferences

Date

2023-07-08

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1057-9230
1099-1050

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

We examine the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical occupation preference, focusing on Wuhan, China. We conducted a survey of 5686 respondents in China regarding the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical occupation preference. We also conducted a complimentary survey in the UK with 1198 respondents, as well as a field experiment in Wuhan with 428 first and second-year medical students. We find a significant negative impact of the pandemic on the willingness to let a loved one choose a medical occupation. Individuals who were heavily influenced by the pandemic, that is, Wuhan residents, especially medical workers, express significantly lower medical occupation preference. Further analysis from Sobel-Goodman mediation tests reveals that around half of the total negative effect can be mediated by enhanced risk aversion and reduced altruism. The UK survey and the field experiment with medical students in Wuhan reinforce these findings. Our results suggest a shift in medical workers' risk- and altruistic-preferences has led to a reduced medical occupation preference. Non-medical workers and students who are more altruistic and risk-seeking are more likely to choose a medical occupation.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Citation

Cartwright, E., Guo, Y., Wei, L., and Xue, L. (2023) Medical occupation preference under the influence of the COVID‐19 pandemic: The role of risk and altruistic preferences. Health Economics, 32 (10), pp. 2390-2407

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Applied Economics and Social Value (IAESV)