IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Rationale for Searching (Imprecise) Health Information

  • F. Barigozzi
  • R. Levaggi

We analyse a model of patient decision-making where anxiety about the future characterizes the patient’s utility function. Anxiety corresponds to fear of bad news and results in the patient being averse to information. First, the patient chooses the accuracy of a signal which discloses information on his health status. Then he up-dates his beliefs according to Bayes’s rule and chooses an action. We show that the choice of imprecise information can be optimal because it allows the patient to trade off the damage deriving from complete ignorance with the anxiety raised by the news about his health level.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 559.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:559
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Piazza Scaravilli, 2, and Strada Maggiore, 45, 40125 Bologna

Phone: +39 051 209 8019 and 2600
Fax: +39 051 209 8040 and 2664
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. M. Kate Bundorf & Laurence Baker & Sara Singer & Todd Wagner, 2004. "Consumer Demand for Health Information on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Health anxiety and patient behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1073-1084, November.
  3. Wagner, Todd H. & Hu, Teh-wei & Hibbard, Judith H., 2001. "The demand for consumer health information," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1059-1075, November.
  4. F. Barigozzi & R. Levaggi, 2005. "New Developments in Physician Agency: the Role of Patient Information," Working Papers 550, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  5. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The supply of information by a concerned expert," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 487-505, 07.
  6. Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 2001. "The Optimal Level of Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1629-1644, November.
  7. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
  8. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:559. 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: (Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.