Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 285–305 | Cite as

Behavior towards health risks: An empirical study using the “Mad Cow” crisis as an experiment

  • Jérôme AddaEmail author


The paper exploits the “Mad Cow” crisis as a natural experiment to gain knowledge on the behavioral effect of new health information. The analysis uses a detailed data set following a sample of households through the crisis. The paper disentangles the effect of non-separable preferences across time from the effect of previous exposure. It shows that new health information interacts in a non-monotonic way with disease susceptibility. Individuals at low or high risk of infection do not respond to new health information. The results show that individual behavior partly offsets the effect of new health information.


Health risks Health behavior Intra-household decision 

JEL Classification

D1 D8 C3 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute for Fiscal StudiesLondonUK

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