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Specialization, Option Demand, and the Pricing of Medical Specialists


  • David Dranove
  • William D. White


This paper discusses the supplier power of medical specialists. We argue that a combination of factors, including the structure of health care delivery, reimbursement systems, the presence of option demand, and high consumer switching costs, create circumstances in which medical specialists may be able to exercise significant seller power. We explore the implications of this for the pricing and organization of medical care. Copyright 1996 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dranove & William D. White, 1996. "Specialization, Option Demand, and the Pricing of Medical Specialists," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 277-306, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:5:y:1996:i:2:p:277-306

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-748, September.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    4. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1984. "Practical Implications of Game Theoretic Models of R&D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 61-66, May.
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    6. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ernst R. Berndt & Zvi Griliches, 1993. "Price Indexes for Microcomputers: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters,in: Price Measurements and Their Uses, pages 63-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Roger H. Gordon & Mark Schankerman & Richard H. Spady, 1985. "Estimating the Effects of R&D on Bell System Productivity: A Model of Embodied Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 1607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "An Alternative Theory of Firm and Industry Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1041, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Hayashi, Fumio, 1989. "Research and Development as an Investment," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8br8d266, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. Christopher Harris & John Vickers, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209.
    12. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
    13. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
    14. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gaynor & Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1999. "Change, Consolidation, and Competition in Health Care Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 141-164, Winter.
    2. Gilad Sorek, 2015. "Health Insurance and Competition in Health Care Markets," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2015-03, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    3. Gal-Or, Esther, 1999. "The profitability of vertical mergers between hospitals and physician practices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 621-652, October.
    4. Dunn, Abe, 2010. "The value of coverage in the medicare advantage insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 839-855, December.

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