The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 317–337 | Cite as

Differing types of medical prevention appeal to different individuals

  • Nicolas BouckaertEmail author
  • Erik Schokkaert
Original Paper


We analyze participation in medical prevention with an expected utility model that is sufficiently rich to capture diverging features of different prevention procedures. The predictions of the model are not rejected with data from SHARE. A decrease in individual health decreases participation in breast cancer screening and dental prevention and increases participation in influenza vaccination, cholesterol screening, blood pressure screening, and blood sugar screening. Positive income effects are most pronounced for dental prevention. Increased mortality risk is an important predictor in the model for breast cancer screening, but not for the other procedures. Targeted screening and vaccination programs increase participation.


Screening Vaccination Prevention Expected utility Behavioral economics 

JEL Classification

D81 I12 



Comments from Chiara Canta, Sverre Grepperud, Henri Ghesquiere, Tom Van Ourti, Erwin Ooghe, Geert Dhaene, Magne Mogstad, two anonymous referees, and participants at the Public Economics seminar in Leuven, the Ecore summer school and the EHEW 14 conference in Lyon are gratefully acknowledged. Nicolas Bouckaert is grateful to the Research Foundation—Flanders for providing a research fellowship. This paper uses data from SHARELIFE release 1, as of November 24th 2010 or SHARE release 2.3.1, as of July 29th 2010. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th framework programme (project QLK6-CT-2001- 00360 in the thematic programme Quality of Life), through the 6th framework programme (Projects SHARE-I3, RII-CT- 2006-062193, COMPARE, CIT5-CT-2005-028857, and SHARELIFE, CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and through the 7th framework programme (SHARE-PREP, 211909 and SHARE-LEAP, 227822). Additional funding from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01 and OGHA 04-064, IAG BSR06-11, R21 AG025169) as well as from various national sources is gratefully acknowledged (see for a full list of funding institutions).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.COREUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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