An App Call a Day Keeps the Patient Away? Substitution of Online and In-Person Doctor Consultations Among Young Adults

Lina Maria Ellegård, Gustav Kjellsson, Linn Mattisson

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


The emergence of markets for online physician consultations -- direct-to-consumers telemedicine (DCT) -- is transforming healthcare services in many nations. The convenience of DCT lowers the cost of seeking care, thus potentially increasing demand. Yet, it is not known whether patients consuming online care turn to traditional providers as well. This is one of the first studies to causally assess to which degree online physician consultations substitute for in-person consultations. We exploit the rapid emergence of a DCT market and exogenous changes in patient fees in a fuzzy difference-in-discontinuities analysis of young adults in two Swedish regions. We find evidence in support of partial substitution and an increase in total physician consultations.
Original languageSwedish
PublisherDepartment of Economics, Göteborg University
Number of pages97
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Publication series

NameWorking Papers in Economics
PublisherDepartment of Economics, Göteborg University

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

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