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Price regulation of pluralistic markets subject to provider collusion

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  • Longo, R
  • Miraldo, M
  • Street, A

Abstract

We analyse incentives for collusive behaviour when heterogeneous providers are faced with regulated prices under two forms of yardstick competition, namely discriminatory and uniform schemes. Providers are heterogeneous in the degree to which their interests correspond to those of the regulator, with close correspondence labelled altruism. Deviation of interests may arise as a result of de-nationalisation or when private providers enter predominantly public markets. We assess how provider strategies and incentives to collude relate to provider characteristics and across different market structures. We differentiate between "pure" markets with either only self-interested providers or with only altruistic providers and "pluralistic" markets with a mix of provider type. We find that the incentive for collusion under a discriminatory scheme increases in the degree to which markets are self-interested whereas under a uniform scheme the likelihood increases in the degree of provider homogeneity. Providers' choice of cost also depends on the yardstick scheme and market structure. In general, costs are higher under the uniform scheme, reflecting its weaker incentives. In a pluralistic market under the discriminatory scheme each provider's choice of cost is decreasing in the degree of the other provider's altruism, so a self-interested provider will operate at a lower cost than an altruistic provider. Under the uniform scheme providers always choose to operate at the same cost. The prospect of defection serves to moderate the chosen level of operating cost.

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Paper provided by Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School in its series Working Papers with number 1454.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:imp:wpaper:1454

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  1. Rothschild, R., 1999. "Cartel stability when costs are heterogeneous," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 717-734, July.
  2. Potters, J.J.M. & Rockenbach, B. & Sadrieh, A. & Damme, E.E.C. van, 2003. "Collusion under Yardstick Competition: An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper 2003-97, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Mónica Duarte Oliveira & Carlos Gouveia Pinto, 2005. "Health care reform in Portugal: an evaluation of the NHS experience," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(S1), pages S203-S220.
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  10. Helder Vasconcelos, 2005. "Tacit Collusion, Cost Asymmetries, and Mergers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 39-62, Spring.
  11. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  12. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
  13. Ma, Ching-to Albert, 1994. "Health Care Payment Systems: Cost and Quality Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 93-112, Spring.
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  15. Tangeras, Thomas P., 2002. "Collusion-proof yardstick competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 231-254, February.
  16. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak, 2008. "Tacit versus Overt Collusion Firm Asymmetries and Numbers: What’s the Evidence?," Working Papers 08-32, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  17. Pope, Gregory C., 1989. "Hospital nonprice competition and medicare reimbursement policy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 147-172, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Martin Janíčko & Ivo Koubek, 2012. "Information Assymetry and Double Standard in the Doctor-Patient Relationship," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(3), pages 362-379.
  2. Jana Chvalkovská & Petr Janský & Jiří Skuhrovec, 2012. "Bearer Shares in Paper Form and Public Procurement," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(3), pages 349-361.

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