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

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  • Lange, Fabian

Abstract

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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  • Lange, Fabian, 2011. "The role of education in complex health decisions: Evidence from cancer screening," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:43-54
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    1. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
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    8. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment? Evidence from rural Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 686-714, November.
    9. 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.
    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).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Godlonton & Rebecca L. Thornton, 2013. "Learning from Others' HIV Testing: Updating Beliefs and Responding to Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 439-444, May.
    2. Rebecca Mary Myerson & Darius Lakdawalla & Lisandro D. Colantonio & Monika Safford & David Meltzer, 2018. "Effects of Expanding Health Screening on Treatment - What Should We Expect? What Can We Learn?," NBER Working Papers 24347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Behrman, Jere R. & Xiong, Yanyan & Zhang, Junsen, 2015. "Cross-sectional schooling-health associations misrepresented causal schooling effects on adult health and health-related behaviors: Evidence from the Chinese Adults Twins Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 190-197.
    4. Govert e. Bijwaard & Hans Van Kippersluis, 2016. "Efficiency of Health Investment: Education or Intelligence?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(9), pages 1056-1072, September.
    5. Leuven, Edwin & Plug, Erik & Rønning, Marte, 2016. "Education and cancer risk," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-121.
    6. Cutler, David M. & Lange, Fabian & Meara, Ellen & Richards-Shubik, Seth & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2011. "Rising educational gradients in mortality: The role of behavioral risk factors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1174-1187.
    7. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1423, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    8. Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Michael Hummer & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2015. "The Effectiveness of Health Screening," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(8), pages 913-935, August.
    9. Goldring, Thomas & Lange, Fabian & Richards-Shubik, Seth, 2016. "Testing for changes in the SES-mortality gradient when the distribution of education changes too," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 120-130.
    10. Mocan, Naci & Pogorelova, Luiza, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," IZA Discussion Papers 8698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Teresa Bago d'Uva & Esen Erdogan Ciftci & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2015. "Who can predict their Own Demise? Accuracy of Longevity Expectations by Education and Cognition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-052/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," NBER Working Papers 20557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. You, Kai, 2011. "Education, risk perceptions, and health behaviors," MPRA Paper 35535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Gustav Kjellsson & Dennis Petrie & Tom (T.G.M.) van Ourti, 2018. "Measuring income-related inequalities in risky health prospects," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-007/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Gerald J. Pruckner & Thomas Schober & Katrin Zocher, 2017. "The company you keep - Health behavior among work peers," Economics working papers 2017-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    16. Rebecca Myerson & Darius Lakdawalla & Lisandro D. Colantonio & Monika Safford & David Meltzer, 2018. "Effects of expanding health screening on treatment – What should we expect? What can we learn?," Working Papers 2018-014, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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