Testing for the Role of Prejudice in Emergency Departments Using Bounceback Rates
We propose and empirically implement a test for the presence of racial prejudice among emergency department (ED) physicians based on the bounceback rates of patients discharged after receiving diagnostic tests during their initial ED visit. A bounceback is defined as a return to the ED within 72 hours of being initially discharged. Applying the test to administrative data of ED visits from California and New Jersey, we do not find evidence of prejudice against black and Hispanic patients, but we find evidence of prejudice against Asians in California. We also find evidence of prejudice against male patients.