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Nudges at the dentist

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  • Altmann, Steffen
  • Traxler, Christian

Abstract

We implement a field experiment to study the impact of reminder messages on dental health prevention. Patients who are due to schedule a check-up receive no reminder, a neutral reminder postcard, or reminders including additional information on the benefits of prevention. Our results document a strong impact of reminders. Within one month after receiving a reminder, the fraction of patients who make a check-up appointment more than doubles. The effect declines slightly over time, but remains economically and statistically significant. Including additional information in the reminders does not significantly increase response rates relative to the neutral reminder. Finally, our data indicates that applying reminders repeatedly neither strengthens nor weakens their effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian, 2014. "Nudges at the dentist," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 19-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:72:y:2014:i:c:p:19-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.07.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiment; Reminder; Memory limitations; Attention; Health prevention;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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