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The Silent Majority Fallacy of the Elzinga-Hogarty Criteria: A Critique and New Approach to Analyzing Hospital Mergers

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  • Cory S. Capps
  • David Dranove
  • Shane Greenstein
  • Mark Satterthwaite

Abstract

Elzinga/Hogarty inflow/outflow analysis is a mainstay of geographic market definition in antitrust analysis. For example, U.S. antitrust agencies lost several hospital merger challenges when evidence showed that a nontrivial fraction of local patients traveled outside the local community for care. We show that the existence of traveling consumers may not limit seller market power with respect to non-traveling consumers--a phenomenon we label the silent majority fallacy. We estimate a random coefficients logit model of hospital demand and use the estimates to predict the increase in price that various mergers would generate. Two distinct methods of predicting the price increase are implemented and both indicate that even in suburban areas with high outflows of consumers, some hospital mergers could lead to significant price increases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8216.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8216

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  1. Hogarty, Thomas F & Elzinga, Kenneth G, 1972. "The Demand for Beer," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(2), pages 195-98, May.
  2. Baker, Jonathan B. & Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1988. "Estimating the residual demand curve facing a single firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 283-300.
  3. David Dranove & William D. White, 1998. "Emerging issues in the antitrust definition of healthcare markets," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 167-170.
  4. Froeb, L. & Werden, G.J. & Tardiff, T.J., 1993. "The Demsetz Postulate and the Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries," Papers 93-5, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  5. Dranove, David, 1998. "Economies of scale in non-revenue producing cost centers: Implications for hospital mergers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 69-83, January.
  6. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  7. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1995. "Measuring the Intensity of Competition in Export Markets," NBER Working Papers 5226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  9. Kahai, Simran K & Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1996. "Is the "Dominant Firm" Dominant? An Empirical Analysis of AT&T's Market Power," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 499-517, October.
  10. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
  11. Werden, G.J. & G.J. & Froeb, L.M., 1995. "Simulation as an Alternative to Structural Merger Policy in Differentiated Products Industries," Papers 95-02, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
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Cited by:
  1. David Dranove & Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan & Mark Satterthwaite, 2003. "Is More Information Better? The Effects of "Report Cards" on Health Care Providers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 555-588, June.
  2. Lee Mobley & H. E. Frech & Luc Anselin, 2009. "Spatial Interaction, Spatial Multipliers and Hospital Competition," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 1-17.
  3. Kyna Fong, 2007. "Evaluating Skilled Experts: Optimal Scoring Rules for Surgeons," Discussion Papers 07-043, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Katherine Ho, 2005. "The Welfare Effects of Restricted Hospital Choice in the US Medical Care Market," NBER Working Papers 11819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Evans, William N. & Kim, Beomsoo, 2006. "Patient outcomes when hospitals experience a surge in admissions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 365-388, March.
  6. Silvana Robone & Alberto Zanardi, 2006. "Market structure and technology: evidence from the Italian National Health Service," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 215-236, September.
  7. John Simpson, 2003. "Geographic markets in hospital mergers: a case study," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 291-303.
  8. Daniel P. Kessler, 2005. "Can Ranking Hospitals on the Basis of Patients' Travel Distances Improve Quality of Care?," NBER Working Papers 11419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Warell, Linda, 2005. "Defining geographic coal markets using price data and shipments data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(17), pages 2216-2230, November.
  10. Joseph Farrell & David Balan & Keith Brand & Brett Wendling, 2011. "Economics at the FTC: Hospital Mergers, Authorized Generic Drugs, and Consumer Credit Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 271-296, December.
  11. Marco Varkevisser & Stéphanie Geest & Frederik Schut, 2010. "Assessing hospital competition when prices don’t matter to patients: the use of time-elasticities," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 43-60, March.

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