1. Describe the industry and explain the general pattern of change of the particular market model
Health insurance in the United States providers represent competitive market because they are numerous, variety of choices, and no single entity has much power over prices. The health insurance can be considered as rapid growth industry. Recently, this industry is transforming in a rapid way and evolving into an oligopoly. Insurance markets in many states are eventually controlled and dominated by a few large firms.
There were more than five hundred health insurers involved mergers between 1998 and 2008 (Bakhtiari, 2010). Although there are hundreds of small insurance companies operating in the market, the industry Led by WellPoint, 12 health plans cover two-thirds of the enrollment in the U.S. commercial-insurance market (Bloomberg News, 2010). An analyst's report cited in the article predicts there will be 100 insurers with around 200,000 members could be forced out of business. Smaller insurers are increasingly unable to invest in the infrastructure and technology to effectively manage care (Bakhtiari, 2010). However, mergers have been the main power rather than small insurers going out of business.
2. Hypothesize the basic short-run and long-run behaviors of the model in the industry you have chosen in a “market economy”
This paper uses Kinked-Demand theory of oligopoly; there is no single theory that explains oligopoly behavior. The kinked demand model assumes that if one firm raises the prices, other firms will not follow to increase. If the firm reduces its price, it is assumed that its competitors will follow suit and reduce their prices as well. The result is a demand curve for the firm that is kinked at the current equilibrium price (Low, 2000). Taking this as assumption, a single health insurer that tries to raise price will lose market share mainly just because other insurers are not following, it... [continues]
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