A dynamic hurdle model for zero-inflated count data: with an application to health care utilization
Excess zeros are encountered in many empirical count data applications. We provide a new explanation of extra zeros, related to the underlying stochastic process that generates events. The process has two rates, a lower rate until the first event, and a higher one thereafter. We derive the corresponding distribution of the number of events during a fixed period and extend it to account for observed and unobserved heterogeneity. An application to the socio-economic determinants of the individual number of doctor visits in Germany illustrates the usefulness of the new approach.
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