The Utility-Maximizing Self-Employed Physician
We estimate a model of utility-maximizing physician behavior. Our model accounts for the interdependence of physician input, output, and work/leisure choices, and includes an endogenous virtual wage for physician own time in the medical practice. We find that solo practitioners respond to increases in marginal hourly earnings and nonpractice income by allocating less time to medical practice activities. Our results also suggest that fee reductions induce the substitution of physician own time for auxiliaries, and the net effect of this adjustment is reduced patient loads and a decrease in supply from the existing stock of solo practitioners.
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