A WebmasterWorld thread has an interesting but maybe/likely completely false theory on how Google AdWords may work.
Now, if I understand the thread correct (note: very little sleep last night), this person is proposing that Google may be sending better qualified buyers to those ads with a higher quality score.
In short, Google may know which searchers converts at a higher rate than other searchers. So maybe, Google prefers to send that searchers an ad that has a higher quality score?
The senior member wrote it out in detail, but ended his post with a short summary:
This could mean that the higher the quality score of your keywords, the more likely it is you will receive a higher quality visitor from AdWords. I am not talking about bid prices, just the QS vs traffic quality.
An interesting concept and some think this is totally off base but others say, "I would not be surprised if it were an element in both AdWords and AdSense."
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.