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Public vs. Private Health Care Services Demand in Italy


  • Daniele Fabbri

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Chiara Monfardini

    () (University of Bologna)


In this paper we use data coming from the new Italian Survey on Health Ageing and Wealth (SHAW) to analyse physician services utilization in Italy explicitly acknowledging the existence of two different classes of providers: public and private. We consider visits by a specialist physician as the measure of individual services utilization. In particular we assess the relative importance of variables like income, education, private insurance and supply characteristics as determinants of the utilization of such services, while controlling for individual health and need. We do that by estimating some alternative count data regression models of which we discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages and the entailed different interpretation of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Fabbri & Chiara Monfardini, 2003. "Public vs. Private Health Care Services Demand in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(1), pages 93-123, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v62_n1_p93-123

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Atella, Vincenzo & Deb, Partha, 2008. "Are primary care physicians, public and private sector specialists substitutes or complements? Evidence from a simultaneous equations model for count data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 770-785, May.
    2. Daniele Fabbri & Chiara Monfardini, 2016. "Opt Out or Top Up? Voluntary Health Care Insurance and the Public vs. Private Substitution," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(1), pages 75-93, February.
    3. Giuliana Luca & Michela Ponzo & Antonio Andrés, 2013. "Health care utilization by immigrants in Italy," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, March.
    4. Majo, Maria Cristina & van Soest, Arthur, 2012. "Income and health care utilization among the 50+ in Europe and the US," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 28(4), pages 3-22.
    5. Martin Gaechter & Peter Schwazer & Engelbert Theurl, 2013. "Entry into the Physicians’ Market: Empirical Evidence from the Outpatient Sector in Austria," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 4, pages 245-260, December.
    6. Fabbri, Daniele & Monfardini, Chiara, 2009. "Rationing the public provision of healthcare in the presence of private supplements: Evidence from the Italian NHS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 290-304, March.

    More about this item


    health care demand; count data analysis; Italian National Health Service; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets


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