Does quality influence choice of general practitioner? An analysis of matched doctor-patient panel data
The impact of quality on the demand facing health care providers has important implications for the industrial organization of health care markets. In this paper we study the consumers' choice of general practitioner (GP), assuming they are unable to observe the true quality of GP services. A panel data set for 484 Norwegian GPs, with summary information on their patient stocks, renders the opportunity to identify and measure the impact of GP quality on the demand, accounting for patient health heterogeneity. We apply a multi-equation model in the LISREL format, with GP quality and patient health as latent determinants of demand for GP services. Patient excess mortality rate at the GP level is one indicator of quality. Our results indicate that GP quality has a clear positive effect on demand, even when patient heterogeneity is accounted for.
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