IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gilt Roemer’s Law auch in Deutschland? / Does Roemer’s Law Apply in Germany?: Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Überprüfung der These der Angebotsinduzierung im stationären Sektor des deutschen Gesundheitswesens / An Empirical Investigation to Test the Thesis of Supply-induced Demand in Inpatient Care in the German Healthcare System


  • Kopetsch Thomas

    () (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung, Herbert-Lewin-Platz 2, D-10623 Berlin, Germany)


This article tests the thesis of supply-induced demand in the German hospital sector. The empirical investigation described makes use of comprehensive data and represents the first time this has been done for Germany. A cross-section analysis is performed at the level of geographical planning regions. At this level the hospital data encompass the whole population and distinguish ten different medical specialities. 13 different economic and social variables are analysed in a system of simultaneous equations. The result shows that the supply of treatment capacity has a positive influence on the demand for hospital treatments, the number of patients treated per 100,000 population rising with bed density. Alternative explanations for this phenomenon are also checked, without result. No correlation can be found between morbidity and the number of hospital cases in any given region. Although hospital bed density is found to depend on the number of hospital cases per head of population, this is no proof of the reverse causality, as this result can be traced back to the strategy behind the existing hospital planning. The validity of Roemer’s Law in Germany is likely to be (at least partially) due to this existing hospital planning. This is because the prevailing hospital planning procedure is distorted, indicating a higher need for hospital beds where bed density is already high. Given this situation, and the results of the regression analysis, it would seem appropriate to consider abolishing the hospital planning system and radically reducing the density of hospital beds.

Suggested Citation

  • Kopetsch Thomas, 2006. "Gilt Roemer’s Law auch in Deutschland? / Does Roemer’s Law Apply in Germany?: Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Überprüfung der These der Angebotsinduzierung im stationären Sektor des deutschen Gesundh," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(6), pages 646-669, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:226:y:2006:i:6:p:646-669

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
    2. Phelps, Charles E & Newhouse, Joseph P, 1974. "Coinsurance, the Price of Time, and the Demand for Medical Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(3), pages 334-342, August.
    3. Feldstein, Martin S, 1971. "Hospital Cost Inflation: A Study of Nonprofit Price Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 853-872, December.
    4. Joseph P. Newhouse & Charles E. Phelps, 1976. "New Estimates of Price and Income Elasticities of Medical Care Services," NBER Chapters,in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 261-320 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:226:y:2006:i:6:p:646-669. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.