Why shopping for health insurance is hard

The premise is simple.  Create markets, let consumers choose the products that fit them best, and the competition will lead to higher quality and lower prices.  That is the premise behind the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges.  A necessary condition for this to work, however, is that patients have visibility into the quality and…

Economics of Information

Most economics simplify markets and assume that there is one market price. In reality, however, we observe significant price dispersion. Because of this, we see that that searching for the lowest price–while costly–can buyers to superior outcomes. George Stigler (1961) is a seminal paper on the Economics of Information which I will review here. When…