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Information and health care in developed and developing countries

Avitabile, C.; (2009) Information and health care in developed and developing countries. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis studies the effect of information and cultural barriers on the demand for health care in both developed and developing countries. Chapter 1 exploits the randomized research design of PROGRESA, a conditional cash transfer programme implemented in rural Mexico, to study whether health interventions can have indirect effects on the propensity to screen for gender specific diseases. We show that among women not entitled to a cash transfer there is a higher likelihood of being screened for cervical cancer as result of greater social acceptance of the test and increased awareness of potential risk factors. Chapter 2 discusses whether attendance at health and nutrition sessions as one of the requirements for receiving a transfer, affects the health behaviour of eligible adults. Using data from the randomized design of the PAL nutritional programme, implemented in rural Mexico, we show that there is a lower propensity among women for a large waist circumference, which is driven by reduced calorie intake based on better nutrition knowledge. Chapter 3 examines whether the quality of primary care affects the uptake of mammography and colonoscopy among individuals aged 50 plus, in eight European countries. We find that better quality general practitioner are significantly increases the propensity to undergo screening. Finally, Chapter 4 looks at whether the costs involved in acquiring health information are an important determinant of the decision to buy supplementary private health insurance and whether this explains in part the large cross country variation in supplementary private health insurance coverage across European countries. We find evidence that both education and proxies for cognitive ability act as substitutes for quality of health promotion in the propensity to sign a supplementary private insurance.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Information and health care in developed and developing countries
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Economics

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