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

  • Lange, Fabian

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-511K3MC-1/2/8e527a56e2be0677fdaf7aba7cd10a72
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kenkel, D., 1988. "The Demand For Preventive Medical Care," Papers 3-88-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. De Walque, Damien, 2004. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment ? Evidence from rural Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3289, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Kenkel, D.S., 1988. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, And Schooling," Papers 10-88-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. 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).
  11. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, June.
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