a1 Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark
a2 Institute of Public Health – Health Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Both professionals and politicians may affect expenditures for highly professional services provided in the public and private sector. We investigated Danish publicly financed child dental care with a special focus on the influence of politicians and dentists on the expenditure level. By studying spatial patterns in expenditure levels across municipalities, we are able to test the influences of these two main actors and the networks through which learning is achieved. Four hypotheses on the existence of different spatial spillover effects are tested. The empirical analysis is based on annual data from 1996 to 2001 for 226 Danish municipalities, thus allowing for the control for heterogeneity between municipalities and for intra-municipal correlations across time. The results point to differences in expenditures between municipalities with privately and publicly produced dental care. Furthermore, dentists appear to be the most important actors for the spatial spillover effects, and these effects are especially strong for municipalities situated in the same county that use private dental clinics. There is no evidence of political spatial spillover effects between municipalities.
(Online publication August 08 2011)