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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2017Antitrust Treatment of Nonprofits: Should Hospitals Receive Special Care?
with Dennis W. Carlton, Guy David: w23131
Nonprofit hospitals receive favorable tax treatment in exchange for providing socially beneficial activities. Extending this rationale would suggest that, insofar as suppression of competition would allow nonprofits to cross-subsidize care for needy populations, nonprofit hospital mergers should be evaluated differently than mergers of for-profit hospitals. However, this rationale rests upon the premise that nonprofit hospitals with greater market power provide more care to the needy. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model showing that the welfare implications of an antitrust policy that favors nonprofit hospitals depends on the link between market power and charity care provision. To test the link, we use three measures of charity care—two dollar-denominated and one based on servi...
 
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