This paper considers the micro-econometric analysis of patients' hospital choice for elective medical procedures when their choice set is pre-selected by a general practitioner (GP). It proposes a two-stage choice model that encompasses both, patient and GP level optimization, and it discusses identifi cation. The empirical analysis demonstrates biases and inconsistencies that arise when strategic pre-selection is not properly taken into account. We fi nd that patients defer to GPs when assessing hospital quality and focus on tangible attributes, like hospital amenities; and that GPs, in turn, as patients' agents present choice options based on quality, but as agents of health authorities also consider their financial implications.
discrete choice patient principal GP agent expert endogenous choice sets competition hospital choice elective medical procedure