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Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Christopher Hoag

Second Advisor

Gerardo Ruiz Sanchez


This thesis examines the relationship between financial incentives and physician location choice. The Health Professional Shortage Area program, a federal program that uses financial incentives to induce doctors to practice in rural areas, serves as an experiment to determine the effect of increased financial benefits on the number of county primary care physicians. Using panel dataset for all U.S. counties from 2010 to 2016, a difference-in-difference event study compares pre-gain physician/population ratios between counties that gained HPSA designations and those counties that experienced no change in status. The results of this regression found no significant effect of gaining HPSA status, with interactive post-gain event study variables jointly equal to zero. Therefore, it was concluded that the gain of financial incentives tied to the HPSA program had no effect on the location or distribution of U.S. physicians.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics. Access to full text is limited to the campus community.