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The impact of recall periods on reported morbidity and health seeking behavior

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  • Das, Jishnu
  • Hammer, Jeffrey
  • Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2002, the authors followed 1621 individuals in Delhi, India using a combination of weekly and monthly-recall health questionnaires. In 2008, they augmented these data with another 8 weeks of surveys during which households were experimentally allocated to surveys with different recall periods in the second half of the survey. This paper shows that the length of the recall period had a large impact on reported morbidity, doctor visits, time spent sick, whether at least one day of work/school was lost due to sickness, and the reported use of self-medication. The effects are more pronounced among the poor than the rich. In one example, differential recall effects across income groups reverse the sign of the gradient between doctor visits and per-capita expenditures such that the poor use health care providers more than the rich in the weekly recall surveys but less in monthly recall surveys. The authors hypothesize that illnesses -- especially among the poor -- are no longer perceived as"extraordinary events"but have become part of"normal"life. They discuss the implications of these results for health survey methodology, and the economic interpretation of sickness in poor populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey & Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina, 2011. "The impact of recall periods on reported morbidity and health seeking behavior," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5778, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5778
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hammer, Jeffrey & Spears, Dean, 2013. "Village sanitation and children's human capital : evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6580, The World Bank.
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    4. Acharya, Arnab & Vellakkal, Sukumar & Taylor Fiona & Masset Edoardo & Satija, Ambika & Burke, Margaret & Ebrahim, Shah, 2013. "The impact of health insurance schemes for the informal sector in low- and middle-income countries : a systematic review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6324, The World Bank.
    5. Geng, Xin & Ide, Vera & Janssens, Wendy & Kramer, Berber & van der List, Marijn, 2017. "Health insurance, a friend in need? Evidence from financial and health diaries in Kenya," IFPRI discussion papers 1664, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Raza, W.A. & Panda, P. & Van de Poel, E. & Dror, D.M. & Bedi, A.S., 2013. "Healthcare Seeking Behavior among Self-help Group Households in Rural Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50172, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. de Nicola, Francesca & Giné, Xavier, 2014. "How accurate are recall data? Evidence from coastal India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 52-65.
    8. Martin Ravallion, 2014. "Can We Trust Shoestring Evaluations?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 413-431.
    9. Böhme, Marcus H. & Persian, Ruth & Stöhr, Tobias, 2015. "Alone but better off? Adult child migration and health of elderly parents in Moldova," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 211-227.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0494 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Arthi, Vellore & Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Palacios-López, Amparo, 2018. "Not your average job: Measuring farm labor in Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 160-172.
    12. Ahmad, Sohail & Mathai, Manu V. & Parayil, Govindan, 2014. "Household electricity access, availability and human well-being: Evidence from India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 308-315.
    13. Kjellsson, Gustav & Clarke, Philip & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2014. "Forgetting to remember or remembering to forget: A study of the recall period length in health care survey questions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 34-46.
    14. World Bank, 2013. "Bangladesh - Poverty Assessment : Assessing a Decade of Progress in Reducing Poverty, 2000-2010," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16622, The World Bank.
    15. Grant Miller & Christine Valente, 2016. "Population Policy: Abortion and Modern Contraception Are Substitutes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 979-1009, August.
    16. Bensch, Gunther & Peters, Jörg, 2015. "The intensive margin of technology adoption – Experimental evidence on improved cooking stoves in rural Senegal," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 44-63.
    17. Evans, David K. & Popova, Anna, 2016. "Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Development: Accounting for Local Costs and Noisy Impacts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 262-276.
    18. Haenssgen, Marco J. & Ariana, Proochista, 2017. "The Social Implications of Technology Diffusion: Uncovering the Unintended Consequences of People’s Health-Related Mobile Phone Use in Rural India and China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 286-304.
    19. Fink, Günther & Masiye, Felix, 2015. "Health and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-164.
    20. Andres, Luis A. & Briceno, Bertha & Chase, Claire & Echenique, Juan A., 2014. "Sanitation and externalities : evidence from early childhood health in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6737, The World Bank.
    21. Hammer, Jeffrey & Spears, Dean, 2016. "Village sanitation and child health: Effects and external validity in a randomized field experiment in rural India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 135-148.
    22. Avinash Kishore & Dean Spears, 2014. "Having a Son Promotes Clean Cooking Fuel Use in Urban India: Women's Status and Son Preference," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 673-699.
    23. Gunther Bensch & Jörg Peters, 2014. "The Intensive Margin of Technology Adoption - Experimental Evidence on Improved Cooking Stoves in Rural Senegal," Ruhr Economic Papers 0494, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Disease Control&Prevention; Gender and Health; Housing&Human Habitats;

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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