This study applies the theory of carrying capacity to examine the effects of market forces on the location pattern of physicians in Taiwan between 1974 and 1982. The data for the analysis were collected from governmental publications. The township was selected as the geographic unit of analysis. By using a regression model of physician supply, this study developed a proxy for physician carrying capacity and a deviation indicator to classify townships as attractive or unattractive. The results of this study indicate that: (1) within attractive townships, the greater the deviation from physician carrying capacity, the faster the growth rate of the physician-population ratio; (2) the overall pattern of the growth rate is quite similar across different sizes of townships; and (3) due to a loss of population, unattractive townships do not necessarily have the lowest growth rates of the physician-population ratio even though they gain few physicians. This study thus concludes that market forces are powerful in determining the physician distribution. © 1995.
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