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Primary care utilisation and workers’ opportunity costs. Evidence from Italy

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  • De Luca, Giuliana
  • Ponzo, Michela

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of employment condition and work hours on the utilisation of primary care services in Italy. Although the Italian NHS provides free and equitable access to primary care, type of occupation and labour contracts may still deter workers to attend medical appointments. The hypothesis is that the higher the workers’ opportunity cost in terms of earning forgone, the less the demand for General Practitioner (GP) visits. Using survey data provided by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), we estimate a negative binomial model of GP visits as a function of employment related variables, individual characteristics, supply factors and geographical effects. We find that selfemployed workers, managers and cadres have relatively low demand compared to white and blue collars. We conclude that the former, bearing higher opportunity costs, suffer more from the loss of earnings related to the absence from work than the latter.

Suggested Citation

  • De Luca, Giuliana & Ponzo, Michela, 2009. "Primary care utilisation and workers’ opportunity costs. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 24201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Opportunity cost; hours of work; utilisation of GP; employment status.;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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