The Supply of Surgeons and the Demand for Operations
39 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2001 Last revised: 26 Aug 2010
Date Written: March 1978
This paper presents a multi-equation multivariate analysis of differences in the supply of surgeons and the demand for operations across geographical areas of the United States in 1963 and 1970. The results provide considerable support for the hypothesis that surgeons shift the demand for operations. Other things equal, a 10 percent increase in the surgeon/population ratio results in about a 3 percent increase in per capita utilization. Moreover, differences in supply seem to have a perverse effect on fees, raising them when the surgeon/population ratio increases. Surgeon supply is in part determined by factors unrelated to demand, especially by the attractiveness of the area as a place to live.
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