Real Estate vs Health Care Systems

The general theme of this assignment is that groups will post a short report describing their assessment of health care competitive markets in comparison to the “traditional” microeconomic market. Think about items such as demand, supply, the elements of a competitive market, and the role of insurance. I am looking for a discussion not to exceed four (4) pages (excluding titles and references), where your group identifies at least three areas of similarity and difference between healthcare and another industry. Try to keep that comparison industry the same throughout your analysis (e.g., airlines, consumer goods, services). While you can stay “big picture with health care, if you would like to narrow to a specific area of health care that is fine as long as you use it consistently through your analysis. Be sure you explain your rationale for the points you make. Answers without explanations are not answers – even if correct.

You do not need a PowerPoint or anything like that for this presentation – basically just give me the “script” of a presentation you would give if we were in class together.

When you submit your document also include a specification of who in the group did what for the presentation. I reserve the right to adjust any individual scores if an area of the paper is especially problematic or if someone is noted as not materially contributing to the work, but generally all members of the group will get the same grade.

Real Estate vs Health Care Systems


In our presentation we are comparing the Real Estate Market from a buyers perspective to health care competitive markets. The contrast between traditional competitive market models and medical care delivery is argued by many. Arrow describes several characteristics that contribute to the uniqueness of medical care. These characteristics include unpredictability, asymmetric information, trust, barriers to entry and payment practices (insert citation). We have identified the following similarities and differences between the two.



-must trust physicians providing care and in real estate must trust sellers that house is up to code.


-discluding urgent situations, both real estate buyers and health care consumers have a vast array of options to choose from when choosing a provider vs house.

Maximize utility

In both situations one must be aware of how much they can budget on mortgage and health insurance. If too much money is spent on health insurance or mortgage there is not enough money for other expenses.

Unpredictability (?)

Demand for healthcare is irregular. Real estate is unpredictable – shifts in buyers markets vs sellers markets.

Opportunity cost

Each will pay what they want to pay for insurance or mortgage for maximum satisfaction. That may mean limited healthcare (urgent care visits only for example) or smaller house but are satisfied with the monthly payment.


Asymmetric Information

-typical consumers of medical care are misinformed and unable to determine if the provider is making the correct assessment of their medical needs. Alternatively a real estate buyer is able to come into the real estate market well informed and able to question/negotiate with the seller.


-one will not be denied medical care despite inability to pay. Those looking to buy a house will be denied if unable to pay.


-Provider must maintain license requirements. Hospitals must maintain accreditation. Buyers do not have barriers to obtaining real estate.

Payment practices

-payment to hospitals are facilitated through a third party vendor (insurance). When buying a house you are responsible for every month’s payment.


Depending on location supply of housing may be limited (NY/LA, etc…). Supply of healthcare is not.



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