Barili E., Bertoli P., Grembi V. (2021).

Neighborhoods, networks, and delivery methods. Journal of Health Economics80, December 2021, 102513.


We examine the contribution of information transmission among pregnant women to geographic variation in C-sections in Lombardy, Italy. Defining networks as pregnant women living in the same municipality, we observe that if the incidence of C-sections within the womans network is one standard deviation higher over the 12 months preceding delivery, then her probability of delivering by C-section is 0.007 percentage points (3%) higher. This result is mainly a network effect on Italian women, while it arises from both network and neighborhood effects on foreign women. Both groups respond to additional information, such as the incidence of C-section complications. The selection of pregnant women across hospitals does not uniquely explain our results, which are robust to alternative sample selections and specifications.