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J Health Econ. 2000 Sep;19(5):731-53.

Consumer satisfaction and supplier induced demand.

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Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.


This study examines the relationship between supply of primary physicians and consumer satisfaction with access to, and quality of, primary physician services in Norway. The purpose is to throw light on a long-standing controversy in the literature on supplier inducement (SID): the interpretation of the positive association between physician density and per capita utilization of health services. We find that an increase in the number of physicians leads to improved consumer satisfaction, and that the relationship between satisfaction and physician density exhibits diminishing returns to scale. Our results suggest that policy-makers can compute the socially optimal density of physicians without knowledge about whether SID exists, if one accepts the (controversial) assumption that consumer satisfaction is a valid proxy for patient utility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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