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The Good Outcome of Bad News

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  • Marco Bertoni
  • Luca Corazzini
  • Silvana Robone

Abstract

By favoring early diagnosis, mammography screening decreases breast cancer mortality and treatment costs. However, participation in public screening programs is low in many countries. We ran a randomized field experiment to assess whether costless manipulations of the informational content (restricted or enhanced information) and the framing (gain or loss framing) of the invitation letter to the breast cancer screening program in Messina (Italy) affects participation. We show that giving enhanced loss-framed information about the risks of not having a mammography increases the take-up. This manipulation is most effective among subgroups with lower baseline take-ups, thereby reducing inequalities in screening. Finally, subjects exposed to this manipulation are much less likely to postpone the screening conditional on participation, revealing enhanced awareness about the risks related with delayed participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Bertoni & Luca Corazzini & Silvana Robone, 2020. "The Good Outcome of Bad News," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 372-409.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:amjhec:doi:10.1086/708930
    DOI: 10.1086/708930
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    Cited by:

    1. Antinyan, Armenak & Bertoni, Marco & Corazzini, Luca, 2021. "Cervical cancer screening invitations in low and middle income countries: Evidence from Armenia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 273(C).
    2. Antinyan, A. & Bertoni, M. & Corazzini, L., 2020. "Cancer screening invitations in the developing world," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 20/13, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca, 2020. "The Health-Wealth Trade-off during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Communication Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 13943, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Vincenzo Carrieri & Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2021. "The health-economy trade-off during the Covid-19 pandemic: Communication matters," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(9), pages 1-25, September.
    5. Antoine Marsaudon, 2022. "Do Hospital Stays Modify Locus of Control?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 170(2), pages 257-277, May.

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