Multimarket Contact in Health Insurance: Evidence from Medicare Advantage
Haizhen Lin () and
No 24486, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Many industries, including health insurance, are characterized by a handful of large firms competing against each other in multiple markets. Such overlap across markets, defined as multimarket contact (MMC), may facilitate tacit collusion and thus reduce the intensity of competition. We examine the effects of MMC on health insurance prices and quality using comprehensive data on the Medicare Advantage (MA) market from 2008 through 2015. Our identification strategy exploits two plausibly exogenous changes to MMC: 1) out-of-market consolidations, which affect MMC but are not likely driven by local market heterogeneity; and 2) reimbursement policy changes in a subset of markets, which encourage additional entry and therefore affect MMC even in markets otherwise unaffected by the policy itself. Across a range of estimates and alternative measures of MMC, our results consistently support the mutual forbearance hypothesis, where we find that prices are significantly higher and hiqh-quality plans become less pervasive as MMC increases. These results suggest MMC as one potential channel through which cross-market consolidations and regulatory policies could alter competitiveness in local markets otherwise unaffected by the merger or policy.
JEL-codes: I11 L11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-hea and nep-ias
Note: HC HE IO
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Haizhen Lin & Ian M. McCarthy, 2023. "Multimarket Contact in Health Insurance: Evidence from Medicare Advantage*," The Journal of Industrial Economics, vol 71(1), pages 212-255.
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Multimarket Contact in Health Insurance: Evidence from Medicare Advantage (2023)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24486
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().