Numerous researchers have explored whether general practitioners compensate for a shortage of patients by providing more items of treatment. Empirical testing of this hypothesis often lacks a valid measure of the relevant patient population. In the Norwegian case, researchers have exploited the fact that most patients are registered on a patient list of one general practitioner. However, a significant number of patients move between physicians. We show that physicians with a deficit of patients on the list attract more external patients than those with a surplus of patients on the list. In contrast with previous research, we find no evidence of revenue compensation when consultations with external patients are taken into account.
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