, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 33–54 | Cite as

Individual vs. household determinants of the demand for medical care: A study of rural families

  • Laurence Miners


This article investigates, from a household perspective, the demand for medical care. Earlier (economic) studies have typically focused on individual utilization patterns; however, the data set employed here allows for an investigation of the role of other family members on individual demand. The theoretical results suggest that the labor force status (via the wage rate) of one family member may, in addition to influencing that person's rate of medical care use, effect the utilization of other household members. Separate physician visit demand equations are estimated for husbands, wives, and the household unit. The empirical results indicate that the wife's (full) cost of receiving medical care is a significant determinant of utilization by both the husband and other family members. Overall, the findings suggest that demand studies should take the presence of other household members and family structure into consideration when analyzing the determinants of individual medical care utilization.


Medical Care Household Member Wage Rate Care Utilization Physician Visit 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence Miners
    • 1
  1. 1.Fairfield UniversityUSA

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