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Public and Private Provision of Health Care

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  • Pedro Pita Barros
  • Xavier Martinez-Giralt

Abstract

One of the mechanisms that are implemented in the cost containment movement in the health care sectors in western countries is the definition, by the third-party payer, of a set of preferred providers. The insured patients have different access rules to such providers when ill. The rules specify the copayments patients must pay when using an out-of-plan care provider. This paper studies the competitive process among providers in terms of both prices and qualities. Competition is influenced by the status of providers as in-plan or out-of-plan care providers. Also, there is a moral hazard of provider choice related to the trade-off between freedom to choose and the need to hold down costs. It is possible to achieve the first-best allocation by an appropriate definition of the reimbursement scheme when decisions on prices and qualities are taken simultaneously (as in primary health care sectors). In contrast, some type of regulation is needed to achieve the optimal solution when decisions are sequential (as in specialized health care sectors). We also derive normative conclusions on how price controls should be implemented in some European Union member states. Copyright (c) 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Pita Barros & Xavier Martinez-Giralt, 2002. "Public and Private Provision of Health Care," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 109-133, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:11:y:2002:i:1:p:109-133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Selden, Thomas M., 1997. "More on the economic efficiency of mixed public/private insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 517-523, December.
    2. Xavier Martinez-Giralt & Pedro Pita Barros, 2000. "Selecting Negotiation Processes with Health Care," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 467.00, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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    6. Blomqvist, A. & Johansson, P-O., 1997. "Economic efficiency and mixed public/private insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 505-516, December.
    7. Cremer, Helmuth & Marchand, Maurice & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1991. "Mixed oligopoly with differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-53, March.
    8. Dixit, Avinash K, 1986. "Comparative Statics for Oligopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 107-122, February.
    9. Henriques, Irene, 1990. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 638-640, June.
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    13. repec:adr:anecst:y:1994:i:33:p:07 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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