AuthorFleitas Perla, Sebastian
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe central goal of my dissertation is to answer important questions about market design in health care when consumers have inertia, using modern industrial organization tools. The presence of consumer inertia in several markets has been well established in the literature, although we still know very little about how inertia affects the way markets work. In my dissertation, I shed light on these issues in the context of different institutional settings of health care sectors in different countries. Health care markets are extremely relevant because of their huge impacts on the quality of life and on mortality of individuals. In times when the expenditure on health care is increasingly high in modern economies, a better understanding of how these markets work is needed in order to decrease costs and improve their performance. The first chapter disentangles the effects of reductions in switching costs and in the length of contracts (lock-in) on consumer welfare, using quasi-experimental variation in the length of contracts in the Uruguayan health care system. In the second chapter, I study the effect of supply-side firm responses in terms of pricing and offering of new products, on consumer welfare in Medicare Part D in the U.S. Finally, the third chapter studies the effects of increased competition induced by reductions of consumer inertia, on quality and returns to skills for physicians, using uniquely detailed data from the Uruguayan health care sector. The use of tools from the field of industrial organization allows me to combine a solid theoretical background with clearly identified reduced-form and structural models, to analyze the welfare implications of equilibrium behavior in these markets, and to evaluate policy interventions and regulations aimed at improving welfare.
Degree ProgramGraduate College