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Abstract

In this paper we attempt to identify and model factors associated with medical doctors' county-level location decisions. Our goal is to determine whether public policy levers and private incentives exist which can be manipulated to increase the availability of doctors in rural areas. After developing a formal model of medical doctors' location decisions, we use 1989 county-level data on numbers of doctors from the Area Resource File (ARP) to estimate econometric equations at the county-level for the entire U.S. predicting the number of doctors per capita. The data on medical doctors are complemented with ARP data on causes-of-death in 1989, data from the 1990 U.S. Census of Population, and the USDA's rural-urban adjacency or continuum (Beale) code, as well as various state-level variables.

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