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The Evolution of Physician Density in Switzerland

Summary

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.

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Correspondence to Gabrielle Wanzenried.

Additional information

We would like to thank Mike Gerfin, Bronwyn H. Hall, Robert E. Leu, Markus König, Heather Murray, Heidi Seney, Roland Unternährer, participants of the EARIE Conference 2002, Madrid, the World Congress of the International Health Economics Association 2003, San Francisco, and the annual conference of the Verein für Socialpolitik 2005 in Bonn and an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions and comments and the Swiss Federal Statistical Office for data provision. Gabrielle Wanzenried acknowledges financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation. All errors are our sole responsibility.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wanzenried, G., Nocera, S. The Evolution of Physician Density in Switzerland. Swiss J Economics Statistics 144, 247–282 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399254

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Keywords

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

JEL-Classification

  • I11
  • I18
  • C33