Free to Choose? Reform, Choice, and Consideration Sets in the English National Health Service

Martin Gaynor, Carol Propper, Stephan Seiler
2016 The American Economic Review  
Choice in public services is controversial. We exploit a reform in the English National Health Service to assess the effect of removing constraints on patient choice. We estimate a demand model that explicitly captures the removal of the choice constraints imposed on patients. We find that, post-removal, patients became more responsive to clinical quality. This led to a modest reduction in mortality and a substantial increase in patient welfare. The elasticity of demand faced by hospitals
more » ... sed substantially post-reform and we find evidence that hospitals responded to the enhanced incentives by improving quality. This suggests greater choice can raise quality. JEL: D12, I11, I18, L13, L30
doi:10.1257/aer.20121532 fatcat:yd22kgchkbei3ng2gmz5lfgo44