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Public and Private Firms Competition in a Vertical Differentiation Setting – The Case of Healthcare Industry


  • Cristina Barbot

    () (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • António Brandão

    () (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)


With the recent wave of privatisation and liberalisation the number of state owned firms has remarkably decreased. In some industries, namely in healthcare and education, and in many countries, they go on playing an important role, alone or competing with private ones. In this paper we use a model of vertical differentiation to study the effects of the presence of public firms on the quality of healthcare and on welfare. We conclude that, when the market is covered, there must be at least one public firm so that equilibrium welfare may be positive. When the market is not covered, we show that a public monopoly is socially better than a private one, but the only possible competition is between private firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Barbot & António Brandão, 2005. "Public and Private Firms Competition in a Vertical Differentiation Setting – The Case of Healthcare Industry," CEF.UP Working Papers 0507, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0507

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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    3. Kevin Reilly & Tony Wirjanto, 1999. "Does More Mean Less? The Male/Female Wage Gap and the Proportion of Females at the Establishment Level," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 906-929, August.
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    5. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 2003. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 887-922, October.
    6. Anne Plasman & Robert Plasman & Michael Rusinek & François Rycx, 2002. "Indicators on gender pay equality," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 45(2), pages 11-40.
    7. George E. Johnson & Gary Solon, 1984. "Pay Differences Between Women's and Men's Jobs: The Empirical Foundations of Comparable Worth Legislation," NBER Working Papers 1472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Vieira, José António Cabral & Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portela, Miguel, 2003. "Recruitment and Pay at the Establishment Level: Gender Segregation and the Wage Gap in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    10. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    11. Johnson, George & Solon, Gary, 1986. "Estimates of the Direct Effects of Comparable Worth Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1117-1125, December.
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    More about this item


    public firms; competition; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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