Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Information on Cancer Prevalence and Oncologic Insurance Take-up

Caceres, Daniela and Valdivia, Melissa and Barron, Manuel (2024): Information on Cancer Prevalence and Oncologic Insurance Take-up. Forthcoming in: Economics Bulletin

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We study whether oncological insurance demand can be boosted by providing information on the likelihood of developing cancer at some point over the consumer’s lifetime. We conducted a lab- in-the-field hypothetical choice experiment on oncological insurance with adults aged 40-68 of middle to high socioeconomic status in Lima, Peru. A random subset of participants received information on the likelihood of developing cancer before the age of 75. Participants were offered partial and full insurance options. Information increased take-up for full insurance by 18 percentage points (33% of the control group rate) but did not affect demand for partial insurance. Treatment effect arose mostly from participants who do not live with an oncology patient at home, but are roughly constant by education, sex, and age. Our stylized model suggests that this effect is driven by consumers with low present bias. Our findings suggest that in developing countries, where information about the probability of developing cancer during one’s lifetime is not widely known, providing this information can boost demand for insurance, but that present- bias can hinder this effect.

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