Information scarcity is believed to be one key barrier to achieving high-quality professional services. Quality assurance mechanisms are thus especially important in market sectors such as health care, finance, and technology. Our earlier work has studied the limitations of medical malpractice liability and licensing discipline as quality control tools.
In a recent study, we examine online consumer reviews as a form of third-party information disclosure and tool of quality assurance. We use Natural Language Processing (NLP) machine learning techniques and traditional statistical inferences to compare consumers’ reviews of their doctors with subjective measures of service quality.
We find insignificant differences in both rating and written reviews of physicians with multiple malpractice tort claims and disciplinary actions versus doctors with clean records. However, we do find clear patterns of word choices, latent emotions, and topics associated with high versus low ratings, suggesting that consumer reviews have systematically different focuses than quality standards set by the tort system (standard-of-care) and licensing system (minimum standard of service quality). Our findings raise serious questions about using online reviews as a quality control tool for health care services, and its potential effects on informed consumer choices.
About the Speaker:
Jing Liu is Associate Professor at East China University of Political Science and Law. Her empirical research concerns liability/ litigation, occupational licensing, and information disclosure as quality assurance mechanisms of professional services. Her scholarship on the U.S. tort reform, health care regulation and finance, and legal representation market appear in leading international journals, including Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and Annual Review of Law and Social Science. Her researches in Chinese are currently funded by the National Social Science Fund of China. She received her degrees from the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and East China University of Political Science and Law.
Prof. Haitian LU is a Professor in law and Finance at the School of Accounting and Finance. He is also the Director of Chinese Mainland Affairs Office of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the deputy director of the Center for Economic Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Finance (CESEF) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prof. Lu obtained his Ph.D in law from National University of Singapore, Master of Law from Liverpool University and Bachelor of Law from Nanjing University. During January to June 2016 he was visiting research professor at New York University Stern School of Business. Prof. Lu’s teaching and research interest centers on the legal development, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibilities in Hong Kong and mainland China. He is the author / co-author of the books Secured Finance Law in China and Hong Kong (2010 Cambridge University Press), Truths and Half Truths: China’s Socio-Economic Reforms 1978-2010 (2011 Chandos Publishing), and The Role of China in Global Dirty Industry Migration (2008 Chandos Publishing). Prof. Lu published widely in law, finance, economics and management journals.
Prof. LU contributes to the academic and professional society by serving as Associate Editor of Journal of Financial Stability (SSCI), Associate Dean in Faculty of Business (2018-2020), and Associate Head in School of Accounting and Finance (2012-2017) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is the Vice-chairman of the Federation of Alumni Association of Chinese Colleges and Universities in Hong Kong (2018-present), Vice-chairman of Greater Bay Area Fintech Promotion Association Limited (2019-present) and Deputy-Director General of the Macau International Healthcare Think Tank (2019-). He was also the external subject reviewer for Tung Wah College, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Caritas Francis Hsu College; external expert member for PRC IQS Working Group of the Hong Kong Institute of Charted Secretaries (HKICS); external examiner for Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Public Accountant (HKICPA); judge panel member for the Best Corporate Governance Disclosure Award 2012-2017,; Academic Board Member of Asian Competition Forum (ACF), Vice-president of the Hong Kong Alumni Association of Nanjing University, etc.