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Modelling bivariate count distributions with finite mixture models: application to health care demand of married couples

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Count measures of health care utilization are often correlated with other measures of utilization. In addition, utilization measures display a high proportion of zero observations. This article attempts to accommodate both data features in one model, with an application to medical care usage of husbands and wives. A bivariate count representation is used to model dependence between husbands' and wives' utilizations, and a finite mixture specification accommodates the problem of excess zeros. Results show that married couples are characterized by two distinct subpopulations according to the intensity of utilization of the wife.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8109, USA 2: Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA

Publication date: 01 May 2011

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