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Regional density of private dentists: Empirical evidence from Austria


  • Gächter, Martin

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

  • Schwazer, Peter

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

  • Theurl, Engelbert

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

  • Winner, Hannes

    () (University of Salzburg)


Objectives: We investigated the determinants of disparities in the regional density of private dentists in Austria. Specifically, we focused on the relationship between the density of private dentists and their public counterparts, thereby controlling for other possible covariates of dentist density. Methods: Dentist density was measured at the district level. We used panel data of dentist density from 121 Austrian districts over the years 2001 to 2008. We applied a Hausman-Taylor framework to cope with possible endogeneity and to control for cross-district effects in the dentist density. Results: A significant negative relationship was found between the density of private and public dentists, indicating a substitution effect between the two dentist groups. A significant positive spatial relationship also existed for private and public dentists in the neighboring regions. Dental capacities in public and private hospitals and dental laboratories run by the public health insurance system did not have a significant effect on private dentist density. Conclusions: Although a strong negative relationship existed between private and public dentists within the districts, one should not draw the conclusion that private dentists in Austria are close substitutes for public dentists. Such a conclusion would require further empirical analysis on the utilization patterns of dental services and their relationships with financing mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gächter, Martin & Schwazer, Peter & Theurl, Engelbert & Winner, Hannes, 2012. "Regional density of private dentists: Empirical evidence from Austria," Working Papers in Economics 2012-8, University of Salzburg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:sbgwpe:2012_008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce Carpenter & Stephen Neun, 1999. "An analysis of the location decision of young primary care physicians," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(2), pages 135-149, June.
    2. Gaynor, Martin, 1994. "Issues in the Industrial Organization of the Market for Physician Services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 211-255, Spring.
    3. Gächter, Martin & Schwazer, Peter & Theurl, Engelbert & Winner, Hannes, 2012. "Physician density in a two-tiered health care system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 257-268.
    4. Propper, Carol, 2000. "The demand for private health care in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 855-876, November.
    5. Martin Gaynor & Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1999. "Change, Consolidation, and Competition in Health Care Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 141-164, Winter.
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    More about this item


    Competition in health care markets; dentist location and density; models with panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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