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Competition and Quality in Regulated Markets: a Differential-Game Approach

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  • Brekke, Kurt Richard
  • Cellini, Roberto
  • Siciliani, Luigi
  • Straume, Odd Rune

Abstract

We investigate the effect of competition on quality in regulated markets (e.g., health care, higher education, public utilities) taking a differential game approach, in which quality is a stock variable. Using a Hotelling framework, we derive the open-loop solution (providers commit to an optimal investment plan at the initial period) and the feedback closed-loop solution (providers move investments in response to the dynamics of the states). If the marginal provision cost is constant, the open-loop and closed-loop solutions coincide, and the results are similar to the ones obtained by static models. If the marginal provision cost is increasing, investment and quality are lower in the closed-loop solution: in fact, quality drops to the minimum level in steady state, implying that quality competition is effectively eliminated. In this case, static models tend to exaggerate the positive effect of competition on quality. Our results can explain the mixed empirical evidence on competition and quality for regulated markets.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6801.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6801

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Keywords: Competition; Quality; Regulated markets;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fernando Alexandre & Miguel Portela & Carla Sá, 2008. "Admission conditions and graduates' employability," NIPE Working Papers 16/2008, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Natália P. Monteiro & Paulo Bastos, 2009. "Managers and wage policies," NIPE Working Papers 2/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Hugh Gravelle & Rita Santos & Luigi Siciliani & Rosalind Goudie, 2012. "Hospital Quality Competition Under Fixed Prices," Working Papers 080cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  4. Brekke, Kurt Richard & Cellini, Roberto & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2008. "Competition and quality in regulated markets with sluggish demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 6938, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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