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Does It Pay to Know Prices in Health Care?

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  • Ethan M. J. Lieber

Abstract

Consumers rarely know the price of medical care before they consume it. I use variation in the timing of access to a new source of price information to show how access to and search for price information leads consumers to pay significantly less for care. I provide suggestive evidence that insurance coverage inhibits the use of price information, rationalizing the relatively low rates of search. The results indicate that availability of price information could have large impacts on prices even in the absence of general equilibrium effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Ethan M. J. Lieber, 2017. "Does It Pay to Know Prices in Health Care?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 154-179, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:154-79
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Katharina Knoll & Moritz Schularick & Thomas Steger, 2017. "No Price Like Home: Global House Prices, 1870-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 331-353, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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