Effects of Risk and Time Preference and Expected Longevity on Demand for Medical Tests
Despite their conceptual importance, the effects of time preference, expected longevity, uncertainty, and risk aversion on behavior have not been analyzed empirically. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to assess the role of risk and time preference, expected longevity, and education on demand for three measures used for early detection of breast and cervical cancer—regular breast self-exams, mammograms, and Pap smears. We find that individuals with a higher life expectancy and lower time preference are more likely to undergo cancer screening. Less risk averse individuals tend to be more likely to undergo testing. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
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