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The role of education in complex health decisions: Evidence from cancer screening

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  • Lange, Fabian

Abstract

Abstract This paper uses data on real and perceived cancer risks and cancer screening behavior to test the allocative efficiency theory. Specifically, it explores whether the educated make better-informed health decisions. I propose that (1) when educated individuals are better informed, they are more likely to incorporate variation in risk factors when they report their personal cancer risk, and (2) as risk varies, the better educated will react more strongly by adopting preventive behaviors such as cancer screening. The results support for both predictions. Further, using data on attitudes toward breast health, I explore a possible mechanism: educated women are more receptive to scientific evidence and hold fewer nonscientific beliefs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 43-54

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:43-54

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Education Allocative efficiency Health;

References

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  1. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  2. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  3. Damien de Walque, 2010. "Education, Information and Smoking Decisions: Evidence from Smoking Histories in the United States, 1940–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  4. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment? Evidence from rural Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 686-714, November.
  5. Jason M. Fletcher & David Frisvold, 2008. "Higher Education and Health Investments: Does More Schooling Affect Preventive Health Care Use?," Emory Economics 0813, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Goldman Dana P & Lakdawalla Darius N., 2005. "A Theory of Health Disparities and Medical Technology," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-32, September.
  7. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  8. Adriana Lleras-Muney & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs," NBER Working Papers 9185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Michael Hummer & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Health Screening," Economics working papers 2012-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. You, Kai, 2011. "Education, risk perceptions, and health behaviors," MPRA Paper 35535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Cutler, David M. & Lange, Fabian & Meara, Ellen & Richards-Shubik, Seth & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2011. "Rising educational gradients in mortality: The role of behavioral risk factors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1174-1187.
  4. Susan Godlonton & Rebecca L. Thornton, 2013. "Learning from Others' HIV Testing: Updating Beliefs and Responding to Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 439-44, May.

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