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Competition among Hospitals

  • Martin Gaynor
  • William B Vogt

    ()

We examine competition in the hospital industry, in particular the effect of ownership type (for-profit, no-for-profit, government). We estimate a structural model of demand and pricing in the hospital industry in California, then use the estimates to simulate the effect of a merger. California hospitals in 1995 face an average price elasticity of demand of -4.85. Not-for-profit hospitals face less elastic demand and act as if they have lower marginal costs. Their prices are lower than for-profits, but markups are higher. We simulate the effects of the 1997 merger of two hospital chains. In San Luis Obispo County, where the merger creates a near monopoly, prices rise by up to 53%, and the predicted price increase would not be substantially smaller were the chains not-for-profits.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp87.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 03/087.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/087
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