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Competition and Quality: Evidence from the NHS Internal Market 1991-9


  • Burgess, Simon
  • Gossage, Denise
  • Propper, Carol


Payer-driven competition has been widely advocated as a means of increasing efficiency in health care markets. The 1990s reforms to the UK health service followed this path. We examine whether competition led to better outcomes for patients, as measured by death rates after treatment following heart attacks. We exploit differences in competition over time and space to identify the impact of competition. Using data on mortality as a measure of hospital quality and exploiting the policy change during the 1990s, we find that the relationship between competition and quality of care appears to be negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Burgess, Simon & Gossage, Denise & Propper, Carol, 2003. "Competition and Quality: Evidence from the NHS Internal Market 1991-9," CEPR Discussion Papers 4026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dranove, David & White, William D, 1994. "Recent Theory and Evidence on Competition in Hospital Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 169-209, Spring.
    2. Propper, Carol & Burgess, Simon & Green, Katherine, 2004. "Does competition between hospitals improve the quality of care?: Hospital death rates and the NHS internal market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1247-1272, July.
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    More about this item


    competition; healthcare; mortality; quality of care;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General

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