IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does an increase in the doctor supply reduce medical fees? An econometric analysis of medical fees across Australia


  • Jeff Richardson

    () (Centre for Health Economics, Monash University)

  • Stuart Peacock

    (Centre for Health Economics, Monash University)

  • Duncan Mortimer

    () (Centre for Health Economics, Monash University)


One of the clearest predictions of economic theory is that an autonomous increase in supply will depress the price which equilibriates supply and demand. However, US evidence with respect to medical fees has been perverse: higher fees have been observed in areas with more doctors even after standardising for other relevant variables. This has resulted in two broad responses. Some have invoked the (once) controversial theory of supplier-induced demand to account for the anomaly. Others have suggested ingenious ways of explaining the results within the orthodox framework in which supply and demand are independent. There has been almost no analysis of price formulation in the Australian medical market. It has been generally assumed that the usual supply demand relationships apply in the Australian context, and that perversity in the US is attributable to US specific market characteristics. The present article examines the setting of GP fees in the Australian market using 1995 cross-section data from statistical sub-divisions. The implications of the results for workforce planning and for the analysis of consumer benefits are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Richardson & Stuart Peacock & Duncan Mortimer, 2004. "Does an increase in the doctor supply reduce medical fees? An econometric analysis of medical fees across Australia," Centre for Health Economics Working Papers 145/04, Monash University, Centre for Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhe:chewps:2004-145

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mhe:chewps:2004-145. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Teresa Cheong). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.