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The Determinants of Health Care Utilization in Portugal: An Approach with Count Data Models


This work aims to identify the determinants of health care utilization in Portugal and to quantify their effects. A clear idea about this may help the policy debate on the delivery and organization of health services. Toward this end, we developed an approach based on count data models. We found that demographic factors influence health care demand; unemployment strongly increases utilization, and income effects are only observed for frequent users. Furthermore, chronic conditions increase demand for health services, and personal habits have mixed effects. Both private insurance and the use of subsystems increase the utilization.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to João Cotter Salvado.

Additional information

I am very grateful to Pedro Portugal who helped me throughout this paper as my master advisor. Additionally, I would like to thank to Pedro Pita Barros, Mafalda Sampaio, Miguel Câmara and Pedro Robalo for their important suggestions and corrections.

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Salvado, J.C. The Determinants of Health Care Utilization in Portugal: An Approach with Count Data Models. Swiss J Economics Statistics 144, 437–458 (2008).

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  • I10
  • I12
  • C13
  • C25
  • C52


  • health care utilization
  • count data models
  • Portugal