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Determinants of Access to Physician Services in Italy: A Latent Class Seemingly Unrelated Probit Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Atella

    () (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

  • Francesco Brindisi

    () (Columbia University - Department of Economics
    University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

  • Partha Deb

    () (City University of New York - Department of Economics)

  • Furio C. Rosati

    () (UCW Project - University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

Abstract

We examine access to general practitioners, public and private specialists in Italy. We develop a novel model using finite mixtures of probit models that provides a rich and flexible functional form. The mixed distribution is flexible and can accommodate non-normality of response probabilities. The empirical analysis shows that patient behavior can be clustered in two latent classes, and that it changes according to the kind of physician service demanded and the latent class to which the individual belongs. We find that income strongly influences the mix of services. Richer individuals are less likely to seek care from GPs and more likely to seek care from specialists, and especially private specialists. Health status and societal vulnerability are the most important indicators of class membership

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Atella & Francesco Brindisi & Partha Deb & Furio C. Rosati, 2003. "Determinants of Access to Physician Services in Italy: A Latent Class Seemingly Unrelated Probit Approach," CEIS Research Paper 36, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:36
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Care Demand; Latent Class Models; Probit; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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