Healthcare and Medical Decision Making


Special issue of Journal of the Association for Consumer Research; Deadline 1 Sep 2020

JACR Call for Papers
Issue Editors: Dipankar Chakravarti, Jian Ni, and Meng Zhu

The healthcare market has been changing rapidly since the turn of the 21st century. This has created the need for a new, integrated perspective on consumer relevant healthcare topics through the lens of psychology, marketing and economics. While marketing researchers from the quantitative, qualitative and behavioral sides have started to join forces to tackle these emerging topics (e.g., a recent Choice Symposium workshop on personalized medicine that the three co-editors organized and participated in along with an interdisciplinary team), healthcare and medical decision making remains as an understudied substantive area.

We wish to assemble a set of papers that highlight the complex interactions between consumers’ healthcare choices at the micro level and the shifting firm, institutional and regulatory landscape at the macro level. The following questions motivate this special issue on healthcare and medical decision making: (1) What drives healthcare decisions made by consumers, firms, and institutional agents, and how do these perspectives interact in the broader socio-political landscape? (2) How and why are healthcare choices different from decisions in other product markets? (3) What are the key conceptual questions, data concerns, and managerial and policy issues that must be addressed and resolved?

This special issue seeks to stimulate discussions and generate high quality academic articles by scholars across different disciplines (e.g., social and behavioral sciences, computer science, public health and medical fields) that focus on contemporary issues in this space and also expand the frontiers of our understanding of consumer, firm and regulatory choices and their interactive impact on healthcare markets and public policies. The following are some suggested topics:

  • What are the key differences among markets for healthcare versus other goods and services?
  • What are the key micro-level drivers of choices of various agents in the healthcare market (e.g., patients, physicians, providers, payers, manufacturers and institutions)? How do these drivers relate to macro-level (aggregate) outcomes and generate market imperfections that provoke public debates (e.g., cost inflation, medical R&D, adverse selection and access to care)?
  • What are the key psychological, sociocultural, and economic factors that shape consumer decisions in the healthcare and medical domains (e.g., health maintenance activities, insurance and treatment choices, addiction to pharmaceuticals, adoption of innovative drugs and personalized medicine)?
  • How is (should) social welfare being (be) conceptualized and measured in healthcare markets?
  • What are the fundamental differences between healthcare markets in the developing versus developed economies? What are the implications of these differences for medical and healthcare decision making at the individual consumer, firm, and policy levels?
  • What is the impact of artificial intelligence on medical decision making? How do (should) one address fairness concerns (e.g., gender and ethnicity biases) with medical algorithms and other ethical issues in healthcare interactions?
  • What are potential consumer level concerns regarding privacy, security and personal safety in healthcare and medical contexts? How can these be mitigated?

Editorial Timeline

  • Deadline for Initial Submission: October 1, 2020
  • Deadline for Final Manuscripts: September 15, 2021


Submitted manuscripts should not exceed 8,000 words. Submissions will receive double-blind peer review consistent with all top journals in the field of consumer research. Author guidelines can be found online on the JACR Guidelines for Authors page. Authors wishing to receive additional information about the issue or seeking editor feedback on a proposed submission can contact the editors directly at, or

Editor bios and submission instructions can be found here: