Class 18: Medicare Advantage and Quality Reporting

The goal of this module is to understand regression discontinuity as a causal identification strategy. We’ll do this in the context of Medicare Advantage quality ratings, where we’ll estimate the effect of higher quality ratings on enrollments. Similar to the prior module, we’ll use RD as a way to avoid problems of endogeneity of ratings.


  • Explain some of the history and institutional details of Medicare Advantage
  • Understand the role of quality ratings on insurance plan choice


  • Review homework 3 and IV in practice


Angrist, J., and J. Pischke. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Darden, M., and I. McCarthy. 2015. “The Star Treatment: Estimating the Impact of Star Ratings on Medicare Advantage Enrollments.” Journal of Human Resources 50 (4): 980–1008.
Gruber, Jonathan. 2017. “Delivering Public Health Insurance Through Private Plan Choice in the United States.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 31 (4): 3–22.