Do Report Cards Tell Consumers Anything They Don't Already Know? The Case of Medicare HMOs, RAND Journal of Economics
Estimated responses to report cards may reflect learning about quality that would have occurred in their absence such as market-based learning. Using panel data on Medicare HMOs, we examine the relationship between enrollment and quality before and after report cards were mailed to 40 million Medicare beneficiaries in 1999 and 2000. We find consumers learn from both public report cards and market-based sources, with the latter having a larger impact. Consumers are especially sensitive to both sources of information when the variance in HMO quality is greater. The effect of report cards is driven by beneficiaries responses to consumer satisfaction scores.
Leemore S. Dafny, David Dranove
Dafny, Leemore S., and David Dranove. 2008. Do Report Cards Tell Consumers Anything They Don't Already Know? The Case of Medicare HMOs. RAND Journal of Economics. 39(3): 790-821.LINK