De Economist

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 237-255

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Price Effects of Dutch Hospital Mergers: An Ex-post Assessment of Hip Surgery

  • Ron G. M. KempAffiliated withOffice of the Chief Economist, The Netherlands Competition AuthorityWageningen University Email author 
  • , Nikki KerstenAffiliated withOffice of the Chief Economist, The Netherlands Competition Authority
  • , Astrid M. SeverijnenAffiliated withDepartment for Competition and Consumer Policy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation


This study analyses price effects of six mergers in the Dutch healthcare industry. We investigate whether the merging hospitals raised their prices for hip surgery after the merger and, if so, how patients react to this higher price. For seven of the twelve hospitals involved, we found a statistically significant price increase for hip surgery, for three hospitals we found a significant price decrease. There is no clear relationship between price changes of hip surgery and changes in travelling behaviour of patients post merger.


Competition law enforcement Merger control Ex-post studies Healthcare

JEL Classification

D49 L40 L50 L80