Altruism Heterogeneity and Quality Competition Among Healthcare Providers

31 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2015

Date Written: October 6, 2014


New empirical evidence shows substantial heterogeneity in the altruism of healthcare providers. Spurred by this evidence, we build a spatial quality competition model with altruism heterogeneity. We find that more altruistic healthcare providers supply relatively higher quality levels and position themselves closer to the center. Whether the social planner prefers more or less horizontal differentiation is in general ambiguous and depends on the level of altruism. The more altruistic healthcare providers are, the more likely it is that the social planner prefers greater horizontal differentiation to off set costly quality competition.

Keywords: healthcare provider altruism and heterogeneity; quality competition

JEL Classification: H42, I11, I18, L13

Suggested Citation

Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja, Altruism Heterogeneity and Quality Competition Among Healthcare Providers (October 6, 2014). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 507, Available at SSRN: or

Nadja Kairies-Schwarz (Contact Author)

CINCH / University of Duisburg Essen ( email )

Berliner Platz 6-8
Essen, 47048

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