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Flu Shots, Mammograms, and the Perception of Probabilities

Author

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  • Carman, Katherine Grace

    () (Tilburg University)

  • Kooreman, Peter

    () (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We study individuals' decisions to decline or accept preventive health care interventions such as flu shots and mammograms. In particular, we analyze the role of perceptions of the effectiveness of the intervention, by eliciting individuals' subjective probabilities of sickness and survival, with and without the interventions. Respondents appear to be aware of some of the qualitative relationships between risk factors and probabilities. However, on average they have very poor perceptions of the absolute probability levels as reported in the epidemiological literature. Perceptions are less accurate if a respondent is female and has no college degree. Perceived probabilities significantly affect the subsequent take-up rate of flu shots and mammograms.

Suggested Citation

  • Carman, Katherine Grace & Kooreman, Peter, 2011. "Flu Shots, Mammograms, and the Perception of Probabilities," IZA Discussion Papers 5739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5739
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Pill, Patch, Or Shot? Subjective Expectations And Birth Control Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 999-1042, August.
    2. Kenkel, D., 1988. "The Demand For Preventive Medical Care," Papers 3-88-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    3. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, "undated". "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. Rochelle Belkar & Denzil G. Fiebig & Marion Haas & Rosalie Viney, 2006. "Why worry about awareness in choice problems? Econometric analysis of screening for cervical cancer," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 33-47.
    5. Khwaja, Ahmed & Silverman, Dan & Sloan, Frank & Wang, Yang, 2009. "Are mature smokers misinformed?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 385-397, March.
    6. John Mullahy, 1999. "It'll only hurt a second? Microeconomic determinants of who gets flu shots," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 9-24.
    7. Hey, John D. & Patel, Mahesh S., 1983. "Prevention and cure? : Or: Is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 119-138, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Binswanger, Johannes & Salm, Martin, 2013. "Does Everyone Use Probabilities? Intuitive and Rational Decisions about Stockholding," IZA Discussion Papers 7265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Stefan T. Trautmann, 2013. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolescents' Field Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 510-531, February.
    3. Nicolas Bouckaert & Erik Schokkaert, 2016. "Differing types of medical prevention appeal to different individuals," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(3), pages 317-337, April.
    4. Majo, M.C., 2010. "A microeconometric analysis of health care utilization in Europe," Other publications TiSEM 1cf5fd2f-8146-4ef8-8eb5-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Robert S. Goldfarb, 2013. "Shortage, Shortage, Who's Got the Shortage?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 277-297, September.
    6. Joachim Winter & Amelie Wuppermann, 2014. "Do They Know What Is At Risk? Health Risk Perception Among The Obese," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 564-585, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    probability perceptions; preventive health care;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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