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Estimating the Effect of Individual Time Preferences on the Use of Disease Screening

Listed author(s):
  • W. David Bradford


    (Department of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia, 201C Baldwin Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA;)

  • James Zoller


    (Department of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, P.O. Box 250961, Charleston, SC 29425, USA;)

  • Gerard A. Silvestri


    (Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, MSC 630, 812 CSB, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, Charleston, SC 29425.)

Economists have long been interested in evaluating the role that time preferences play in a wide range of economic decisions. In the health care arena, time preferences may be an especially important determinant of many decisions—particularly the use of preventative health care. One potential barrier to patient adoption of preventative screening regimens is that they impose current costs on consumers with the hope of lower costs in the future. Using data from a national survey, we jointly estimate latent discount rate and preventative service demand models using a limited information maximum likelihood estimator (iterated M-estimator). The results suggest that discount rates are generally inversely related to the likelihood of most screening tests.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 1005-1031

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:76:4:y:2010:p:1005-1031
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