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Physician choice of medical specialty: do economic incentives matter?

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  • James Thornton

Abstract

In this paper, a probabilistic discrete choice approach is used to examine the influence of economic and non-economic factors on the choice of medical specialty by new physicians. A two level nested logit model is estimated that relaxes the independence from irrelevant alternatives assumption, and allows for a potentially more realistic pattern of substitution across specialty choices. The results from this specification are compared to those obtained from joint and conditional logit models. The findings, which are relatively robust across models, indicate that economic incentives play an important role in the specialty choice process, in particular, expected hours worked and medical school indebtedness. Physician tastes for specialties also appear to have an important influence.

Suggested Citation

  • James Thornton, 2000. "Physician choice of medical specialty: do economic incentives matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(11), pages 1419-1428.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:11:p:1419-1428 DOI: 10.1080/00036840050151494
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    Cited by:

    1. Godager, Geir & Iversen, Tor & Ma , Ching-To Albert, 2009. "Service motives and profit incentives among physicans," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2007:4, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    2. Judith Semeijn & Rolf van der Velden & Hans Heijke & Cees van der Vleuten & Henny Boshuizen, 2005. "The Role of Education in Selection and Allocation in the Labour Market: An Empirical Study in the Medical Field," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 449-477.
    3. John Whitehead, 2006. "A comparison of contingent valuation method and random utility model estimates of the value of avoiding reductions in king mackerel bag limits," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(15), pages 1725-1735.
    4. Sivey, Peter & Scott, Anthony & Witt, Julia & Joyce, Catherine & Humphreys, John, 2012. "Junior doctors’ preferences for specialty choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 813-823.
    5. Pascal Courty & Gerald R. Marschke, 2008. "On the Sorting of Physicians across Medical Occupations," NBER Working Papers 14502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2006. "Investing in Foreign Currency is like Betting on your Intertemporal Marginal Rate of Substitution," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, pages 644-655.
    7. Geir Godager & Tor Iversen & Ching-To Ma, 2009. "Service motives and profit incentives among physicians," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, pages 39-57.
    8. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove, 2011. "Education and Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1467-1496.

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