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Does It Pay to Know Prices in Health Care?

Ethan Lieber ()

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2017, vol. 9, issue 1, 154-79

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.

JEL-codes: D82 D83 G22 I11 I13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150124
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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy is currently edited by Matthew Shapiro

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:154-79