The Korean Journal of Economic Studies
Supply of Physicians and Health Outcomes: Evidence from Panel Analysis of OECD Countries
Chulhee Lee (Seoul National University) and Soo Kyeong Hwang (Korea Development Institute)Year 2015Vol. 63No. 3
By estimating panel-fixed effect model with the OECD data from 1980 to2012, we investigate how the supply of physicians in OECD countries affectshealth outcomes, such as the life expectancy, standardized mortality rate,potential years of life lost (PYLL), and infant mortality rate. Our results showthat an increase in the supply of physicians has significantly positive effect onpopulation health. It is estimated, for example, adding one physician per 1000persons is associated with an increase in the life expectancy at birth by 0.7 to0.9 years and a decline of the infant mortality rate by 1.8 per 1000. Ourresults suggest that the increased supply of physicians is one of the majorcontributing factors to the long-term decline of mortality in OECD countriessince 1980.