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What is the price of prevention? New evidence from a field experiment

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  • Okeke, Edward N.
  • Adepiti, Clement A.
  • Ajenifuja, Kayode O.

Abstract

How does increasing access to treatment affect the demand for preventive testing? In this paper we present results from a field experiment in Nigeria in which we offered cervical cancer screening to women at randomly chosen prices. To test our hypothesis, we also offered women a lottery where the payoff was a subsidy towards the cost of cervical cancer treatment (conditional upon a diagnosis of cervical cancer). We find that women randomly selected to receive the conditional cancer treatment subsidy were about 4 percentage points more likely to take up screening than those in the control group. We also show that reducing the price of screening by 10 cents increased take-up by about 1 percentage point. These results offer compelling evidence that the optimal set of subsidies to increase take-up of preventive testing in developing countries, must include subsidies towards treatment costs (in addition to price subsidies).

Suggested Citation

  • Okeke, Edward N. & Adepiti, Clement A. & Ajenifuja, Kayode O., 2013. "What is the price of prevention? New evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 207-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:1:p:207-218
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.10.001
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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. Iajya, Victor & Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2013. "The effects of information, social and financial incentives on voluntary undirected blood donations: Evidence from a field experiment in Argentina," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 214-223.
    3. Bensch, Gunther & Peters, Jörg, 2015. "The intensive margin of technology adoption – Experimental evidence on improved cooking stoves in rural Senegal," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 44-63.
    4. Dickey, H. & Ikenwilo, D. & Norwood, P. & Watson, V. & Zangelidis, A., 2016. "“Doctor my eyes”: A natural experiment on the demand for eye care services," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 117-127.
    5. Aggarwal, Shilpa, 2021. "The long road to health: Healthcare utilization impacts of a road pavement policy in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Randomized experiment; Prices; Demand; Prevention; Testing; Subsidies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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