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Hospital Mergers: A Spatial Competition Approach


  • Brekke, Kurt R.

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Siciliani, Luigi

    () (University of York)

  • Straume, Odd Rune

    () (University of Minho and University of Bergen)


Using a spatial competition framework with three ex ante identical hospitals, we study the effects of a hospital merger on quality, price and welfare. The merging hospitals always reduce quality, but the non-merging hospital responds by reducing quality if prices are fixed and increasing quality if not. The merging hospitals increase prices if demand responsiveness to quality is sufficiently low, whereas the non-merging hospital always increases its price. If prices are endogenous, a merger leads to higher average prices and quality in the market. A merger is harmful for total patient utility but can improve social welfare under price competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2013. "Hospital Mergers: A Spatial Competition Approach," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 8/2013, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2013_008

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Hospital mergers; Spatial Competition; Antitrust.;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations


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