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Experiencing breast cancer at the workplace

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  • G. Zanella
  • R. Banerjee

Abstract

We study unique data from a dynamic natural experiment involving more than 7,000 American women to understand how a woman’s propensity to perform an annual mammography changes over time after a co-worker is diagnosed with breast cancer. We find that in the year this event occurs the probability that a woman performs a mammography drops by about 8 percentage points, off a base level of about 70%. This impact effect is persistent during at least the following 2 years, is driven by cases of breast cancer diagnosed at non-early stages, and by the behavior of individuals who are less knowledgeable about health issues. This negative effect is confirmed when we allow for serial correlation in screening behavior and when we estimate the effect of the treatment on the hazard of not screening, at the daily frequency. However, the effect vanishes in placebo experiments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp938.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp938

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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Inference by Believers in the Law of Small Numbers," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt4sw8n41t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Emily Oster & Ira Shoulson & E. Ray Dorsey, 2013. "Optimal Expectations and Limited Medical Testing: Evidence from Huntington Disease," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 804-30, April.
  4. Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Bednarek, Heather L. & Schenk, Maryjean, 2005. "Short-term effects of breast cancer on labor market attachment: results from a longitudinal study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 137-160, January.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Jens Ludwig & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2011. "Mechanism Experiments and Policy Evaluations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 17-38, Summer.
  8. Esther Dufluo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
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