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Do hospitals respond to rivals' quality and efficiency? A spatial panel econometric analysis


  • Francesco Longo
  • Luigi Siciliani
  • Hugh Gravelle
  • Rita Santos


We investigate whether hospitals in the English National Health Service change their quality or efficiency in response to changes in quality or efficiency of neighbouring hospitals. We first provide a theoretical model that predicts that a hospital will not respond to changes in the efficiency of its rivals but may change its quality or efficiency in response to changes in the quality of rivals, though the direction of the response is ambiguous. We use data on eight quality measures (including mortality, emergency readmissions, patient reported outcome, and patient satisfaction) and six efficiency measures (including bed occupancy, cancelled operations, and costs) for public hospitals between 2010/11 and 2013/14 to estimate both spatial cross‐sectional and spatial fixed‐ and random‐effects panel data models. We find that although quality and efficiency measures are unconditionally spatially correlated, the spatial regression models suggest that a hospital's quality or efficiency does not respond to its rivals' quality or efficiency, except for a hospital's overall mortality that is positively associated with that of its rivals. The results are robust to allowing for spatially correlated covariates and errors and to instrumenting rivals' quality and efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Longo & Luigi Siciliani & Hugh Gravelle & Rita Santos, 2017. "Do hospitals respond to rivals' quality and efficiency? A spatial panel econometric analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26, pages 38-62, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i::p:38-62

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Thesis Thursday: Francesco Longo
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2018-02-15 07:34:43

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