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Market Concentration, Efficiency, and Quality in the Japanese Home Help Industry

Market Concentration, Efficiency, and Quality in the Japanese Home Help Industry

Chapter:
(p.147) 6 Market Concentration, Efficiency, and Quality in the Japanese Home Help Industry
Source:
Health Care Issues in the United States and Japan
Author(s):
Yanfei ZhouWataru Suzuki
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226903248.003.0007

This chapter addresses the influence of market concentration on the quality and cost of home help services in Japan. It employs cross-sectional data to examine the effect of market concentration on the quality and cost of home help services. Care providers in highly competitive markets are providing better services. The impact of market concentration on service quality, if one exists, was quite limited in 2000. The statistically significant negative coefficient on the market concentration index indicates that the number of care providers per thousand elderly is negatively associated with cost. Market competition induces cost savings in the home help care market. It is generally suggested that there are no foundations for the concern that market-oriented reforms will sacrifice quality in the name of cost savings.

Keywords:   market concentration, service quality, cost savings, home help services, Japan, care providers, elderly, market-oriented reforms

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