Consumers' Evaluation of Allocation Policies for Scarce Health Care Services: Vested Interest Activation Trumps Spatial and Temporal Distance

19 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2012

See all articles by Tim Benning

Tim Benning

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Els Breugelmans

KU Leuven @ Antwerp

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

The allocation of scarce health care service resources often requires trade-offs between individual and collective outcomes (e.g., when some individuals benefit more strongly from a given policy than others). Based on construal level theory, one would expect that consumers cognitively represent the individual and collective outcomes of an allocation policy at different levels of abstraction and that they evaluate allocation policies more positively when there is congruency between the cognitive representation of the policy’s focal outcome and the spatial and temporal distance inherently present in the policy’s decision context (e.g., allocation decisions on a future policy). However, we hypothesize that this congruency effect can be overruled by a high vested interest mindset that is activated by an individual’s recent personal experience with a health care service provider. Since a high vested interest mindset increases the relevance of the allocation policy implementation for the individual because s/he perceives strong personal consequences, we propose that for consumers with recent experience the evaluation of an allocation policy that focuses on individual outcomes is higher than that of a policy that focuses on collective outcomes irrespective of the spatial and temporal distance in the decision context. Results of a hypothetical experiment amongst a representative sample of the general population provide support for the proposed overruling effect of the activation of a high vested interest mindset by recent personal experience on spatial and temporal distance.

Keywords: Allocation policy evaluations, individual vs. collective outcomes, construal level theory, vested interest theory, consumer decision making

JEL Classification: -

Suggested Citation

Benning, Tim and Breugelmans, Els and Dellaert, Benedict G. C., Consumers' Evaluation of Allocation Policies for Scarce Health Care Services: Vested Interest Activation Trumps Spatial and Temporal Distance (November 1, 2011). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 11/2011-106, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1992982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1992982

Tim Benning (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Els Breugelmans

KU Leuven @ Antwerp ( email )

Department of Business Studies
Korte Nieuwstraat 33
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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