Consumer Demand for Health Information on the Internet
The challenges consumers face in acquiring and using information are a defining feature of health care markets. In this paper, we examine demand for health information on the Internet. We find that individuals in poor health are more likely than those in better health to use the Internet to search for health information and to communicate with others about health and health care. We also find that individuals facing a higher price to obtain information from health care professionals are more likely to turn to the Internet for health information. Our findings indicate that demand for consumer health information depends on the expected benefits of information and the price of information substitutes.