Advertising and Risk Selection in Health Insurance Markets
We study impacts of advertising as a channel of risk selection in Medicare Advantage. We show evidence that both mass and direct mail advertising are targeted to achieve risk selection. We develop and estimate an equilibrium model of Medicare Advantage with advertising to understand its equilibrium impacts. We find that advertising attracts the healthy more than the unhealthy. Moreover, shutting down advertising increases premiums by up to 40% for insurers that advertised by worsening their risk pools, which further reduces the demand of the unhealthy. We argue that risk selection may make ...
When you can't go see somebody: advertising to business
Consumer Mistakes and Advertising : The Case of Mortgage Refinancing
Does advertising help consumers to find the products they need or push them to buy products they don't need? In this paper, we study the effects of advertising on consumer mistakes and quantify the resulting effect on consumer welfare in the market for mortgage refinancing. Mortgage borrowers frequently make costly refinancing mistakes by either refinancing when they should wait, or by waiting when they should refinance. We assemble a novel data set that combines a borrower's exposure to direct mail refinance advertising and their subsequent refinancing decisions. Even though on average ...
Advertising and pricing at multiple-output firms: evidence from U.S. thrift institutions
We derive five hypotheses regarding market competition, price, and advertising from a theoretical model of a profit maximizing depository institution, and test these conjectures in a simultaneous system of deposit interest rates and advertising expenditures for a data panel of 1,867 thrift institutions that offer 13 different deposit products in 666 local markets in the U.S. between 1994 and 2000. We find some support for each of our hypotheses ? branding, information, Dorfman-Steiner, structure-advertising, and structure-price ? with the strength of the results often depending on the ...
Does it pay to read your junk mail? evidence of the effect of advertising on home equity credit choices
We examine the effect of direct mail (commonly referred to as junk mail) advertising on individual financial decisions by studying consumer choice of home equity debt contracts. Consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that financial variables underlying the relative pricing of debt contracts are the leading factors explaining consumers home equity debt choice. Furthermore, we also find that the intended use of debt proceeds significantly impacts consumer choice. However, when we study a subset of consumers who received a direct mail solicitation for a particular debt contract ...
Underestimating advertising: innovation and unpriced entertainment
Leonard Nakamura states that despite consumers? lack of respect for advertising, it nonetheless plays a significant role in the economy. For one thing, it helps consumers find out about new products, and new products have been rising in economic importance. It also plays a role in subsidizing broadcast entertainment and news programs. Ultimately, Nakamura shows that although advertising contributes to consumer welfare, its contribution is missing from our measures of output.
The Value of Loyal Customers
Is there a rational reason that stock prices in some industries greatly exceed book values? The answer may lie in the idea that customers are capital.
“Free” Internet Content: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and the Sources of Economic Growth
The Internet has evolved from Web 1.0, with static web pages and limited interactivity, to Web 2.0, with dynamic content that relies on user engagement. This change increased production costs significantly, but the price charged for Internet content has generally remained the same: zero. Because no transaction records the ?purchase? of this content, its value is not reflected in measured growth and productivity. To capture the contribution of the ?free? Internet, we model the provision of ?free? content as a barter transaction between the content users and the content creators, and we value ...
Measuring the “Free” Digital Economy Within the GDP and Productivity Accounts
We develop an experimental methodology that values ?free? digital content through the lens of a production account and is consistent with the framework of the national accounts. We build upon the work in Nakamura, et al. (2016) by combining marketing- and advertising-supported content and find that the impact of ?free? digital content on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has accelerated in recent years, particularly since 2005. However, the explosion in ?free? digital content is partially offset by a decrease in ?free? print content like newspapers. Including these, real GDP growth would grow ...