Price inferences for sacred versus secular goods: Changing the price of medicine influences perceived health risk

Adriana Samper, Janet A. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current research examines how the price of a medication influences consumers' beliefs about their own disease risk-a critical question with new laws mandating greater price transparency for health care goods and services. Four studies reveal that consumers believe that lifesaving health goods are priced according to perceived need (i.e., communal-sharing principles) and that price consequently influences risk perceptions and intentions to consume care. Specifically, consumers believe that lower medication prices signal greater accessibility to anyone in need, and such accessibility thus makes them feel that their own self-risk is elevated, increasing consumption. The reverse is true for higher prices. Importantly, these effects are limited to self-relevant health threats and reveal that consumers make inconsistent assumptions about risk, prevalence, and need with price exposure. These findings suggest that while greater price transparency may indeed reduce consumption of higher-priced goods, it may do so for both necessary and unnecessary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1358
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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