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Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference

  • Anderson, Lisa R.
  • Mellor, Jennifer M.

We conduct a large-scale economics experiment paired with a survey to examine the association between individual risk preference and health-related behaviors among adults aged 18-87 years. Risk preference is measured by the lottery choice experiment designed by Holt and Laury [Holt, C.A., Laury, S.K., 2002. Risk aversion and incentive effects. The American Economic Review 92(5), 1644-1655]. Controlling for subject demographic and economic characteristics, we find that risk aversion is negatively and significantly associated with cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, being overweight or obese, and seat belt non-use. In additional specifications, we find that risk aversion is negatively and significantly associated with the likelihood a subject engaged in any of five risky behaviors and the number of risky behaviors reported.

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1260-1274

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:1260-1274
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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