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Entry and Exit of Physicians in a two-tiered public/private Health Care System

Firm turnover has recently attracted increased interest in economic research. The entry of new firms increases competition and promises efficiency gains. Moreover, changes in the market structure influence productivity growth, because firm entry usually leads to increased innovation. The health care market exhibits important differences as compared to other markets, including various forms of market failure and, as a consequence, extensive market regulation. Thus, the economic effects of entries and exits in health care markets are less obvious. The following paper studies the determinants of entry and exit decisions of physicians in the private sector of the outpatient part of the Austrian health care system. We apply a Poisson panel estimation to a data set of 2,379 local communities and 121 districts in Austria in the time period 2002 - 2008. We are particularly interested in the question how public physicians (GPs/specialists) and their private counterparts influence the entrance and exit of private physicians. We find a significantly negative effect of existing capacities, measured by both private and public physician density of the same specialty, on the entry of new private physicians. On the contrary, we find a significantly positive effect of private GPs on the entry of private specialists. Interestingly, this cooperation/network effect also works in the other direction, as a higher density of private specialists increases the probability of the market entry of private GPs. Based on the results of previous literature, we thus conclude that private physicians establish networks to cooperate in terms of mutual referrals etc. Our estimations for market exits basically confirm the entry results, as higher competitive forces positively influence the market exit of private physicians.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2011-01.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_01
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
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  1. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  2. Duetsch, Larry L, 1984. "Entry and the Extent of Multiplant Operations," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 477-87, June.
  3. Jean Marie Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B. Vogt, 2007. "ENTRY AND COMPETITION IN LOCAL HOSPITAL MARKETS -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 265-288, 06.
  4. Catherine Schaumans & Frank Verboven, 2008. "Entry and regulation: evidence from health care professions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 949-972.
  5. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "Physicians' Services and the Division of Labor across Local Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 948-82, October.
  6. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1989. "Variation In Producer Turnover Across U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 12-89-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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