Competition and quality: evidence from the NHS internal market 1991-9

Carol Propper, Simon Burgess, Denise Gossage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

177 Citations (Scopus)


This article exploits policy change by the UK government to identify the impact of competition on quality. It uses differences in competition over time and space to examine the impact of competition in an environment with limited quality signals in which hospitals competed mainly on price. Using AMI mortality as a measure of hospital quality we find that the relationship between competition and this measure of quality is negative. We also find that competition reduced waiting times. Our results indicate that hospitals in competitive markets reduced unmeasured and unobserved quality in order to improve measured and observed waiting times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-170
Number of pages33
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number525
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

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