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Flu Shots, Mammograms, and the Perception of Probabilities

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  • Carman, Katherine Grace

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Kooreman, Peter

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We study individuals' decisions to decline or accept preventive health care interventions such as flu shots and mammograms. In particular, we analyze the role of perceptions of the effectiveness of the intervention, by eliciting individuals' subjective probabilities of sickness and survival, with and without the interventions. Respondents appear to be aware of some of the qualitative relationships between risk factors and probabilities. However, on average they have very poor perceptions of the absolute probability levels as reported in the epidemiological literature. Perceptions are less accurate if a respondent is female and has no college degree. Perceived probabilities significantly affect the subsequent take-up rate of flu shots and mammograms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5739.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming as 'Probability Perceptions and Preventive Health Care' in: Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5739

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Keywords: probability perceptions; preventive health care;

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References

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  1. Kenkel, D., 1988. "The Demand For Preventive Medical Care," Papers 3-88-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Pill, Patch, Or Shot? Subjective Expectations And Birth Control Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 999-1042, 08.
  3. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. John Mullahy, 1998. "It'll Only Hurt a Second? Microeconomic Determinants of Who Gets Flu Shots," NBER Working Papers 6500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rochelle Belkar & Denzil G. Fiebig & Marion Haas & Rosalie Viney, 2006. "Why worry about awareness in choice problems? Econometric analysis of screening for cervical cancer," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 33-47.
  6. Hey, John D. & Patel, Mahesh S., 1983. "Prevention and cure? : Or: Is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 119-138, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas BOUCKAERT & Erik SCHOKKAERT, 2013. "Differing types of medical prevention appeal to different individuals," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces13.11, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G. & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2011. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents' Field Behavior," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48720, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Joachim Winter & Amelie C. Wuppermann, 2012. "Do they Know what's at Risk? Health Risk Perception among the Obese," CESifo Working Paper Series 3864, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Binswanger, Johannes & Salm, Martin, 2013. "Does Everyone Use Probabilities? Intuitive and Rational Decisions about Stockholding," IZA Discussion Papers 7265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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