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Copayments for doctor visits in Germany and the probability of visiting a physician - Evidence from a natural experiment

Author

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  • Farbmacher, Helmut

Abstract

The German health care reform of 2004 imposes a charge of 10 Euro for the first visit to a doctor in each quarter of the year. At first glance, there is no inhibiting effect of this fee on utilization in the German Socio-Economic Panel. However, this study reveals that the true effect is diluted by a special characteristic of the fee. Exploiting random variation in the interview date, this study finds a substantial effect of the new fee on the probability of visiting a physician. In addition, the identification strategy makes it possible to disentangle this effect from the influence of the contemporaneous increase of copayments for prescription drugs.

Suggested Citation

  • Farbmacher, Helmut, 2009. "Copayments for doctor visits in Germany and the probability of visiting a physician - Evidence from a natural experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 10951, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:10951
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10951/2/Farbmacher2009_DP.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schreyögg, Jonas & Grabka, Markus M., 2010. "Copayments for Ambulatory Care in Germany: A Natural Experiment Using a Difference-in-Difference Approach," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 331-341.
    2. Carine Van De Voorde & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Erik Schokkaert, 2001. "Effects of cost sharing on physician utilization under favourable conditions for supplier-induced demand," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 457-471.
    3. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits � An Econometric Analysis," SOI - Working Papers 0210, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    4. 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.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages 672-694, November.
    6. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Schaffner, Sandra, 2006. "Copayments in the German Health System - Do They Work?," RWI Discussion Papers 43, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eibich, Peter & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2014. "Analyzing regional variation in health care utilization using (rich) household microdata," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 41-53.
    2. Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine, 2011. "Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13187, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    copayment; moral hazard; differences-in-differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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