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Private Versus Public Health Care in a National Health Service

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Author Info

  • Brekke, Kurt R

    (University of Bergen)

  • Lars Sorgard

Abstract

This paper study the interplay between private and public health care in a National Health Service. We consider a two-stage game, where at stage one a Health Authority sets the public sector wage and a subsidy to (or tax on) private provision. At stage two physicians decide how much to work in the public and the private sector. We characterise different equilibria depending on the Health Authority's objectives, the physicians' job preferences, and the cost efficiency of private relative to public provision of health care. We find that the scope for a mixed health care system is limited when physicians are indifferent between working in the public and private sector. Competition between physicians triggers a shift from public provision towards private provision, and an increase in the total amount of health care provided. The endogenous nature of labour supply may have counter-intuitive effects. For example, a cost reduction in the private sector is followed by a higher wage in the public sector.

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File URL: http://repec.org/res2003/Brekke.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 29.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:29

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Keywords: health care; mixed oligopooly; physicians;

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