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Competition and the Cost of Capital Revisited: Special Authorities and Underwriters in the Market for Tax-emempt Hospital Bonds


  • Alec Ian Gershberg
  • Michael Grossman
  • Fred Goldman


We explore the effects of two kinds of competition on the cost of capital in the tax-exempt bond market: (1) competition amongst underwriters and (2) competition amongst issuers (most of which are quasi-public special authorities sanctioned by state governments). The first kind of competition--essentially, competitive versus negotiated bidding processes--has received considerable attention in the literature. The second kind of competition, the number of potential issuers available to a beneficiary of a bond issue, has received far less attention and is related to the level of decentralization of the market for issuing bonds. Studies of the effects of competition have often used small samples of bond issues--often in one or a few states and for one or a few years--to reach their conclusions. Using a national database covering fourteen years, we find that both kinds of competition lower interest rates, at least in the hospital sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Alec Ian Gershberg & Michael Grossman & Fred Goldman, 1999. "Competition and the Cost of Capital Revisited: Special Authorities and Underwriters in the Market for Tax-emempt Hospital Bonds," NBER Working Papers 7356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7356
    Note: HE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-964.
    2. Kessel, Reuben, 1971. "A Study of the Effects of Competition in the Tax-exempt Bond Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 706-738, July-Aug..
    3. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gentry, William M., 2002. "Debt, investment and endowment accumulation: the case of not-for-profit hospitals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 845-872, September.
    2. Daniels, Kenneth N. & Vijayakumar, Jayaraman, 2007. "Does underwriter reputation matter in the municipal bond market?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 500-519.
    3. Patrick Bernet & Thomas Getzen, 2008. "Can a violation of investor trust lead to financial contagion in the market for tax-exempt hospital bonds?," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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