Policies aiming to spur quality competition among health care providers are ubiquitous, but their impact on quality is ex ante ambiguous, and credible empirical evidence is lacking in many contexts. This study contributes to the sparse literature on competition and primary care quality by examining recent competition enhancing reforms in Sweden. The reforms aimed to stimulate patient choice and entry of private providers across the country but affected markets differently depending on the initial market structure. We exploit the heterogeneous impact of the reforms in a difference‐in‐differences strategy, contrasting more and less exposed markets over the period 2005–2013. Although the reforms led to substantially more entry of new providers in more exposed markets, the effects on primary care quality were modest: We find small improvements of patients' overall satisfaction with care, but no consistently significant effects on avoidable hospitalisation rates or satisfaction with access to care. We find no evidence of economically meaningful quality reductions on any outcome measure.
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