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The Utilization of Outpatient Medical Services in Japan

  • Jayanta Bhattacharya
  • William B. Vogt
  • Aki Yoshikawa
  • Toshitaka Nakahara

We estimate the price elasticity of demand for outpatient care in Japan. We use a nationally representative microdata set consisting of nearly 440,000 Japanese patients. Using time between outpatient visits as a demand measure, we estimate a Cox proportional hazards model to calculate price effects. With predicted probabilities we simulate yearly utilization and obtain elasticity estimates. For most diagnostic categories, we obtain inelastic, downward sloping demand curves with price elasticities from -0.12 to -0.54. For the anomalous category we cannot reject a zero slope. The elasticity estimates for Japan are similar to U.S. estimates despite institutional differences.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/146071
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 31 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 450-476

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:2:p:450-476
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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