Who Searches for Low Prices? Population Characteristics and Price Dispersion in the Market for Prescription Drugs
We examine the relationship between population characteristics and price dispersion for 75 prescription drugs in five markets. Based on models of price dispersion, we consider that search costs are likely lower for the elderly, who are repeat purchasers. Expected benefits from search are likely higher for low income households, who lack insurance. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that for communities with a large percentage of elderly and poor population, search effort is greater for pharmaceutical drugs, causing lower price dispersion. By understanding the characteristics of who searches for low drug prices, we begin to identify the motives of consumers that might also lead to search for the lowest cost healthcare provider or lowest cost insurance. The results suggest that the 2004 Medicare legislation that closed the pharmaceutical donut hole may have reduced search by the elderly, increased price dispersion, and potentially increased the average price of prescription drugs.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Yoskowitz, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from a Spot Market for Water," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(3), pages 283-289, May.
- Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2004. "Quality and price dispersion in an equilibrium search model," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 99-116.
- Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Frank Verboven, 2001.
"The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 811-848.
- Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Verboven, Frank, 1998. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Frank Verboven, 1998. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," NBER Working Papers 6818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dahlby, Bev & West, Douglas S, 1986. "Price Dispersion in an Automobile Insurance Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 418-438, April.
- Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
- Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1979. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 851-858, August.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Discussion Papers 335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Debabrata Talukdar, 2008. "Cost of Being Poor: Retail Price and Consumer Price Search Differences across Inner-City and Suburban Neighborhoods," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 457-471, 07.
- Wilde, Louis L. & Schwartz, Alan., "undated". "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Working Papers 184, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Louis L. Wilde & Alan Schwartz, 1979. "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 543-553.
- Alan T. Sorensen, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion in Retail Markets for Prescription Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 833-862, August.
- Aalto-Setälä Ville, 2003. "Explaining Price Dispersion for Homogeneous Grocery Products," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-16, February.
- John McMillan & Peter B. Morgan, 1988. "Price Dispersion, Price Flexibility, and Repeated Purchasing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(4), pages 883-902, November.
- Goodwin, Barry K. & Grennes, Thomas & Wohlgenant, Michael K., 1990. "Testing the law of one price when trade takes time," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 21-40, March.
- George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ils:wpaper:20110701. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (B. Andrew Chupp)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.