Specialization and matching in professional services firms

Andrew J. Epstein, Jonathan Ketcham, Sean Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Economic theory indicates that firms can match workers to jobs and promote productivity-enhancing specialization better than markets, yet few data exist. We empirically test whether firms enhance matching and specialization in the context of obstetrics. We then examine whether consumers benefit from this. We find that high-risk patients in group practices match with specialists more than patients of solo physicians, and this improves patients' health outcomes. Matching based on a patient's clinical need for a cesarean section delivery and a physician's cesarean section skill also occurs, but less extensively. These results support the hypothesis that firms facilitate matching and specialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-834
Number of pages24
JournalRAND Journal of Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Specialization and matching in professional services firms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this