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Co-payments for prescription drugs and the demand for doctor visits - Evidence from a natural experiment

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  • Rainer Winkelmann

    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Abstract

The German health care reform of 1997 provides a natural experiment for evaluating the price sensitivity of demand for physicians' services. As a part of the reform, co-payments for prescription drugs were increased step up to 200%. However, certain groups of people were exempted from the increase, providing a natural control group against which the changed demand for physicians' services of the treated, those subject to increased co-payments, can be assessed. The differences-in-differences estimates indicate that increased co-payments reduced the number of doctor visits by about 10% on an average. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Co-payments for prescription drugs and the demand for doctor visits - Evidence from a natural experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(11), pages 1081-1089.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:11:p:1081-1089
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.868
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Do Pharmaceutical Prices Respond to Potential Patient Out-of-Pocket Expenses?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
    2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    3. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-720, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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