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Martin Gaynor - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Martin Gaynor

University Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Martin Gaynor's research focuses on competition and antitrust policy, particularly in health care markets.


Martin Gaynor is the E.J. Barone University Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and former Director of the Bureau of Economics at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Professor Gaynor's research focuses on competition and incentives in health care, and on antitrust policy.

He is one of the founders of the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent non-partisan nonprofit dedicated to advancing knowledge about U.S. health care spending, and served as the first Chair of its governing board. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an International Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. Prior to coming to Carnegie Mellon Dr. Gaynor held faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins and a number of other universities. He has been an invited visitor at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Northwestern University, and the Toulouse School of Economics.

His research focuses on competition and antitrust policy, particularly in health care markets. He has written extensively on this topic, testified before Congress, and advised the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and South Africa on competition issues in health care. Gaynor is on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Health Advisory Board and co-chaired the state’s workgroup on shoppable care. He has won a number of awards for his research, including the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy Best Paper Award, the Victor R. Fuchs Research Award, the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation Health Care Research Award, the Kenneth J. Arrow Award, the Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship (finalist), and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. Dr. Gaynor received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego in 1977 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1983.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Public Policy

Industrial Organization

Business and Economics

Health Economics


Media Appearances (5)

Farzad Mostashari, Aledade, on the power of primary care

Medium  online


Farzad also spoke to the importance of independent providers adding competition to healthcare markets, the idea being that independent providers joining larger health systems will reduce competition and raise prices, and said that physicians have drifted towards joining larger physician groups rather than hospitals or health systems. Alongside health economists Martin Gaynor and Paul Ginsburg, Farzad published a series of recommendations and Forbes op-ed detailing policy changes that would improve competition in the healthcare industry.

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Hospitals embrace mergers as path to survival

Trib Total Media  online


Those concerns were expressed in a 2021 statement from Martin Gaynor, professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights.

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How COVID-19 Changed Hospital Care

Money.com  online


The industry was already trending this way, according to testimony from Martin Gaynor, a professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, at a congressional hearing last May. There have been more than 450 hospital mergers in the last decade, according to Gaynor.

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How Effective Is the Government’s Campaign Against Hospital Mergers?

ProPublica  online


Employees’ health care costs are also rising rapidly, a trend expected to continue in 2023. “Workers’ contribution to family health insurance premiums grew 259 percent from 1998 to 2018, while nominal average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers grew by only 68 percent,” according to a 2020 paper by economist Martin Gaynor, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a founder of the Health Care Cost Institute.

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When Hospitals Buy Doctor Practices, Do Prices Always Rise?

Bloomberg  online


What happens when physicians are employed by hospitals, rather than working independently? Over the past decade, the share of doctors practicing on their own has declined markedly. Many antitrust advocates are concerned that nothing good will happen as a result, and the Federal Trade Commission is studying the situation. But new research suggests that the shift may bring more benefits than expected, at least for specialist doctors.

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Martin Gaynor Publication



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Martin Gaynor Industrial Organization of Health Care   Martin Gaynor Martin Gaynor: Consolidation among hospitals



Industry Expertise (4)

Writing and Editing

Public Policy



Accomplishments (3)

Best Paper Award (professional)

2016 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Kenneth J. Arrow Award for Best Published Paper in Health Economics (professional)


Victor R. Fuchs Research Award (professional)


Education (3)

Northwestern University: Ph.D., Economics 1983

Northwestern University: M.A., Economics 1979

University of California, San Diego: B.A., Economics 1977

cum laude

Affiliations (5)

  • Committee on Economic Statistics, American Economic Association : Member
  • Governor’s Health Advisory Board, Pennsylvania Governor’s Office : Member
  • American Journal of Health Economics : Member, Editorial Board
  • International Journal of Health Care Economics and 4 Management : Member, Editorial Board
  • Forum for Health Economics and Policy : Member, Board of Editors

Research Grants (3)

The National Impact of Information Technology Portfolio Investments on Inpatient Resource Use and Quality of Care

U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality 

July 2008 - June 2010

Investigation of Competition under Fixed Prices

U.K. Department of Health £510,432

September 2007-August 2010

The Exercise of Market Power by Nonprofit Hospitals

National Bureau of Economic Research $25,000

June 1997-December 2000

Articles (5)

On the misuse of regressions of price on the HHI in merger review

Journal of Antitrust Enforcement

2022 The article explains why regressions of price on HHI should not be used in merger review. Both price and HHI are equilibrium outcomes determined by demand, supply, and the factors that drive them. Thus, a regression of price on the HHI does not recover a causal effect that could inform the likely competitive effects of a merger. Nonetheless, economic theory is consistent with the legal presumption that a merger is likely to have adverse competitive effects if it occurs in a concentrated market and makes that market more concentrated.

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Optimal Contracting with Altruistic Agents: Medicare Payments for Dialysis Drugs

American Economic Review

2023 We study health-care provider agency and optimal payments, considering an expensive medication for dialysis patients. Using Medicare claims data we estimate a structural model of treatment decisions, in which providers differ in their altruism and marginal costs, and this heterogeneity is unobservable to the government. In a novel application of nonlinear pricing methods, we empirically characterize the optimal contracts in this environment.

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The Anatomy of a Hospital System Merger: The Patient Did Not Respond Well to Treatment

National Bureau of Economic Research

2021 Despite the continuing US hospital merger wave, it remains unclear how mergers change, or fail to change, hospital behavior and performance. We open the “black box” of hospital practices through a mega-merger between two for-profit chains. Benchmarking the merger’s effects against the acquirer’s stated aims, we show they achieved some of their goals, harmonizing electronic medical records and sending managers to target hospitals. Post-acquisition managerial processes were similar across the merged chain.

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Do Increasing Markups Matter? Lessons from Empirical Industrial Organization

Journal of Economic Perspectives

2019 This article considers the recent literature on firm markups in light of both new and classic work in the field of industrial organization. We detail the shortcomings of papers that rely on discredited approaches from the "structure-conduct-performance" literature. In contrast, papers based on production function estimation have made useful progress in measuring broad trends in markups.

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Variation In Health Spending Growth For The Privately Insured From 2007 To 2014

Health Affairs

2019 We examined the growth in health spending on people with employer-sponsored private insurance in the period 2007–14. Our analysis relied on information from the Health Care Cost Institute data set, which includes insurance claims from Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare. In the study period private health spending per enrollee grew 16.9 percent, while growth in Medicare spending per fee-for-service beneficiary decreased 1.2 percent.

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