Research Summary

Quality disclosure and consumer behavior

by Michael Luca


Professor Luca has investigated the relationship among quality disclosure, salience, and consumer behavior. He has found that when colleges are presented by rank in U.S. News & World Report, a one-rank improvement for an institution causes nearly a percentage point increase in the number of applications it receives. Conversely, rankings have no effect on application decisions when colleges are listed alphabetically, even though the quality data and methodology to calculate the rank are provided.