• AEA in the news
  • December 12, 2016

In rural India, private health care providers are more cost-effective

Private doctors in rural India charged less than public health care providers and spent more time with patients.


The Hindu, an English-language Indian newspaper, cited a paper that appeared in the December issue of American Economic Review about health care quality in rural India. In “Quality and Accountability in Health Care Delivery: Audit-Study Evidence From Primary Care in India, the authors found that while most private providers lacked medical qualifications, they still exerted more effort in treating patients than public providers and recommended the correct treatments just as often. Also, the per-patient cost of the public health care system was at least four times the fees charged by the private system. The paper was co-authored by Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, Aakash Mohpal, and Karthik Muralidharan.