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Genetic Risk Factors and Offsetting Behavior: The Case of Skin Cancer


  • Dickie, Mark
  • Gerking, Shelby


This paper analyzes the extent of offsetting behavior using survey data on risk beliefs about skin cancer and precautionary actions that people can take to avoid this disease. The perspective taken is that, at conception, people are "installed" with differing genetic characteristics, such as skin type and complexion, which affect the likelihood of contracting skin cancer. The main issue addressed deals with how people's risk beliefs respond to the "safety features" reflected in their own genetic characteristics. Empirical results presented suggest that precautions against solar radiation exposure are chosen so as to partially offset genetic skin cancer protection. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Dickie, Mark & Gerking, Shelby, 1997. "Genetic Risk Factors and Offsetting Behavior: The Case of Skin Cancer," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 81-97, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:15:y:1997:i:1:p:81-97

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriel Picone & Frank Sloan & Donald Taylor, 2004. "Effects of Risk and Time Preference and Expected Longevity on Demand for Medical Tests," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 39-53, January.
    2. Kopp, Raymond J. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Toman, Michael, 1997. "Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Reform: An Assessment of the Science and the Art," Discussion Papers 10851, Resources for the Future.
    3. Michael Lee Ganz, 2001. "Family health effects: complements or substitutes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(8), pages 699-714, December.
    4. Mancino, Lisa & Kuchler, Fred, 2006. "Estimating the Impact of Medication on Diabetics' Diet and Lifestyle Choices," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21459, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Nicholas Wilson & Wentao Xiong & Christine Mattson, 2011. "Is Sex Like Driving? Risk Compensation Associated with Randomized Male Circumcision in Kisumu, Kenya," Center for Development Economics 2011-09, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    6. Carpenter, Christopher S. & Churchill, Brandyn F. & Marcus, Michelle, 2023. "Bad lighting: Effects of youth indoor tanning prohibitions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    7. Bryan C. McCannon & Mark Wilson, 2023. "Mask Mandates Increased COVID-19 Deaths in Kansas," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 38(Winter 20), pages 29-54.
    8. Wilson, Nicholas L. & Xiong, Wentao & Mattson, Christine L., 2014. "Is sex like driving? HIV prevention and risk compensation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 78-91.
    9. Hamilton, Stephen F. & Sunding, David L. & Zilberman, David, 2003. "Public goods and the value of product quality regulations: the case of food safety," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 799-817, March.

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