Do rural incentives payments affect entries and exits of general practitioners?

Jongsay Yong, Anthony Scott, Hugh Gravelle, Peter Sivey, Matthew McGrail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many countries use financial incentive programs to attract physicians to work in rural areas. This paper examines the effectiveness of a policy reform in Australia that made some locations newly eligible for financial incentives and increased incentives for locations already eligible. The analysis uses panel data (2008-2014) on all Australian general practitioners (GPs) aggregated to small areas. We use a difference-in-differences approach to examine if the policy change affected GP entry or exit to the 755 newly eligible locations and the 787 always eligible locations relative to 2249 locations which were never eligible. The policy change increased the entry of newly-qualified GPs to newly eligible locations but had no effect on the entry and exit of other GPs. Our results suggest that location incentives should be targeted at newly qualified GPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalSocial science and medicine
Early online date24 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Choice Behavior
  • Female
  • General Practitioners/psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Professional Practice Location/statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services/economics

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