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  • Open Access

The Evolution of Physician Density in Switzerland

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics2008144:BF03399254

  • Published:


Our paper investigates the geographical distribution of physicians across the Swiss cantons over the years 1960 to 2005. We use a physician location model relating physician growth in a canton related to (i) the existing number of physicians in an area, (ii) commonly used determinants of the demand for physician services such as population growth, per capita income and age, and (iii) factors that determine the medical infrastructure of an area, i.e. the number of hospital beds and the existence of a university hospital. We analyze the effects separately for general practitioners and specialists and find that the two physician types react differently to certain factors included in our analysis.


  • physician density
  • demand for health services
  • health policy
  • panel data