Provider choice of quality and surplus

Nolan Miller, Karen Eggleston, Richard Zeckhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the quality choices of institutional health-care providers, such as hospitals, assuming that the utility function of the key organizational decision maker includes both quality of care and financial surplus. We are primarily concerned with how changes in outside claims - particularly proportional outside claims - on the provider's financial surplus affect his choice of quality. We use the term "rate of surplus retention" to refer to the fraction of surplus remaining after deducting all such claims. Using the Arrow-Pratt coefficient of relative risk aversion as a measure of curvature of the provider's utility-from-money function, we show that increasing the surplus retention rate increases (decreases) quality if the provider's coefficient of relative risk aversion is greater than (less than) 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of health care finance and economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • For-profit
  • Nonprofit
  • Provider maximization
  • Quality
  • Risk aversion
  • Surplus
  • Surplus retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Finance


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