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Do national cancer screening guidelines reduce mortality?

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  • Adam Leive
  • Thomas Stratmann

Abstract

The effectiveness of cancer screening is a salient health policy issue that remains unresolved. This article sheds new light on the benefits of population-wide cancer screening. We investigate changes in mortality after the introduction of screening guidelines for breast and prostate cancers in the USA and UK. We use differences in the timing of guideline adoption, differences in ages recommended for screening, and differences in which cancers are detectable by screening to identify the effect of cancer screening guidelines. Our quadruple-differencing strategy finds a moderately sized mortality benefit from mammography and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening guidelines among recommended age groups and little change in mortality rates among age groups not recommended to receive screening. As a falsification test, we verify that prostate cancer rates among men did not fall after the introduction of mammography screening and breast cancer rates among women did not fall after the introduction of the PSA test. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Leive & Thomas Stratmann, 2015. "Do national cancer screening guidelines reduce mortality?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1075-1095, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:4:p:1075-1095
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-014-0536-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cancer mortality; Disease screening; Difference in differences; JEL Codes; H51; I12; I18; J18;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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