Regulatory Competition between European Health Systems as an Engine of Change?

ISRICH Working Paper No. 02

32 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2008 Last revised: 15 Aug 2013

Date Written: September 1, 2007


The health care systems of EU member states suffer from a variety of problems, making health policy reforms a permanent item on the political agenda. Since intrajurisdictional political competition shows a lot of well-known problems, with agency problems due to imperfect and asymmetric information being prominent leading to policy blockades. This paper asks whether regulatory competition between the EU member states might work as an engine of reform for national health care systems. For yardstick competition, locational competition and regulatory rule competition we analyze the potential impact on improving resource allocation, controlling rent-seeking activities and generating innovations. We find that so far none of these three types of regulatory competition is intense. However, within an appropriate framework, regulatory competition could exhibit an overall positive effect on national health policy reforms.

Keywords: Health policy reforms, yardstick competition, locational competition, regulatory competition

JEL Classification: F15, F2, J18, H7

Suggested Citation

Eckardt, Martina, Regulatory Competition between European Health Systems as an Engine of Change? (September 1, 2007). ISRICH Working Paper No. 02, Available at SSRN: or

Martina Eckardt (Contact Author)

Andrássy University Budapest ( email )

Pollack Mihály tér 3
Budapest, 1088
+36 1 266 4408 (Phone)
+36 1 266 3099 (Fax)


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