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Author Notes:

Author contact information: David H. Howard, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. Phone: (404) 727-3907. Fax: (404) 727-9198. Email: david.howard@emory.edu.

The data reported here have been supplied by the University Renal Research and Education Association as the contractor for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

I would like to thank Adam Atherly and seminar participants at the University of Florida and the 2004 Annual Health Economics Conference for helpful comments on an earlier draft.

The interpretation and reporting of these data are the responsibility of the author and in no way should be seen as an official policy of or interpretation by the SRTR or the U.S. Government.


Research Funding:

Grant support provided by NIDDK/NIH DK067611-01.


  • hospitals
  • consumer choice
  • quality
  • health
  • medicine

Quality and Consumer Choice in Healthcare: Evidence from Kidney Transplantation


Journal Title:

B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy


Volume 5, Number 1


, Pages 1349-1349

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Most studies of competition in health care focus on prices and costs, but concerns about quality play a central role in policy debates. If demand is inelastic to quality, then competition may reduce patient welfare. This study uses a dataset of patient registrations for kidney transplantation in conjunction with a mixed logit model to gauge consumers’ responsiveness to quality when choosing hospitals. Results indicate that at the hospital level, a one-standard deviation increase in the graft-failure rate is associated with a 6% decline in patient registrations. Privately-insured patients are more responsive to quality than Medicare patients, suggesting that insurers consider quality when contracting with providers.
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