IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v10y2001i8p699-714.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Family health effects: complements or substitutes

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Lee Ganz

    (Department of Maternal and Child Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA)

Abstract

Genetic endowments play a fundamental role in the production of health. At birth individuals have different capacities to be healthy, largely due to genetic dispositions. Whether or not individuals realize this health depends on their choice of health behaviours. Previous research has linked negative factors beyond the individual's control, which include genetic endowments, to both poor health and poor health behaviours. The health economics literature proposes that behaviours and genetic (or family health) endowments can be either substitutes or complements in the production of health. The goal of this paper is to investigate the behavioural consequences of changes in knowledge about one's genetic endowment. Using two waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I Epidemiologic Followup Study, I find that for smokers, smoking intensity substitutes for newly diagnosed smoking-related family cancers, while smoking intensity is complementary to newly diagnosed non-smoking-related family cancers. I find no evidence for the hypothesized relationships with respect to alcohol consumption among drinkers. These results have implications for the growing field of genetic testing and test development. These results also reinforce current practices of ascertaining family health histories in the context of medical history taking. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Lee Ganz, 2001. "Family health effects: complements or substitutes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(8), pages 699-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:10:y:2001:i:8:p:699-714
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.612
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.612
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas Coate & Michael Grossman, 1988. "Carbon Monoxide in the Ambient Air and Blood Pressure: Evidence From NHANES II and the SAROAD System," NBER Working Papers 2711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tomas J. Philipson & William H. Dow & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Longevity Complementarities under Competing Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1358-1371, December.
    3. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-742, August.
    4. Tabarrok, Alexander, 1994. "Genetic testing: An economic and contractarian analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 75-91, March.
    5. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    6. Coate, Douglas & Fowles, Richard, 1989. "Is there statistical evidence for a blood lead-blood pressure relationship?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 173-184, June.
    7. Holm, Hakan J., 1997. "Genetic information and investment in human capital," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 435-452, August.
    8. Joyce, Theodore, 1987. "The demand for health inputs and their impact on the black neonatal mortality rate in the U.S," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 911-918, January.
    9. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    10. S Birch & G Stoddart, 1991. "Incentives to Be Healthy: An Economic Model of Health-related Behaviour," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 24, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    11. Donald S. Kenkel, 1991. "What you don't know really won't hurt you," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 304-309.
    12. Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1988. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 145-171, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rapp, Thomas, 2014. "Patients' diagnosis decisions in Alzheimer's disease: The influence of family factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 9-16.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:10:y:2001:i:8:p:699-714. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.