Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Quality Differences among Competing Health Benefit Plans

Journal of Health Economics
Vol. 21, No. 1
January 2002
Harris, K., Schultz, J., and R. Feldman
pp. 1-17

In this paper, we combine revealed preference and survey data on attribute importance to estimate parameters that represent average perceived differences in the quality and convenience of competing health benefit plans. We find that consumers do not perceive differences in provider quality across options, though they do perceive differences related to waiting time and access to specialists. In order to validate our approach, we estimate parameters representing perceived premiums and compare the estimates to actual premium differences. The results suggest that consumers correctly perceive the high-premium option to cost more than the low-premium option. These results increase our confidence in the use of stated importance data to identify and interpret parameters measuring the effect of otherwise unobservable attributes of choice alternatives.

View full article...