Information and Disparities in Health Care Quality: Evidence from Gp Choice in England

68 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2023 Last revised: 17 Apr 2023

See all articles by Zach Brown

Zach Brown

University of Michigan

Chris Hansman

Imperial College London

Jordan Keener

University of Michigan

André Veiga

University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2023

Abstract

Why do low income patients tend to go to lower quality health care providers, even when they are free? We show that differential information about provider quality is an important determinant of this disparity. Our empirical strategy exploits the temporary presence of a website that publicly displayed summary star ratings of general practitioner (GP) offices in England. Regression discontinuity estimates show that patient demand responds sharply to the information on the website, and that this response is almost entirely driven by residents of low income neighborhoods. The results are consistent with high income patients having better private information about quality. We incorporate our estimates into a structural model of demand that allows for heterogeneity in information, preferences, and consumer inertia. We find that information differences explain 24 percent of the relationship between income and GP quality and reinforce disparities in access to care.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Brown, Zach and Hansman, Chris and Keener, Jordan and Veiga, André, Information and Disparities in Health Care Quality: Evidence from Gp Choice in England (March 2023). NBER Working Paper No. w31033, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4393373

Zach Brown (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

Chris Hansman

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Jordan Keener

University of Michigan ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

André Veiga

University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine - Department of Economics ( email )

53 Prince's Gate
Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2PG
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
18
Abstract Views
418
PlumX Metrics