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Daniela Caceres, Melissa Valdivia and Manuel Barron
''Information on cancer prevalence and oncologic insurance take-up: Evidence from a developing country''
( 2022, Vol. 42 No.4 )
We study whether oncological insurance demand can be boosted by providing consumers with information on the likelihood of developing cancer at some point over their 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 did not live with an oncology patient at home, suggesting information led participants to update their beliefs, and are similar by level of education, sex, and age. Our stylized model suggests that this effect is driven by consumers with low present bias (β>0.90). 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.
Keywords: oncologic insurance, insurance take-up, developing country, lab-in-the-field
JEL: O1 - Economic Development: General
I1 - Health: General
Manuscript Received : Feb 02 2022 Manuscript Accepted : Dec 30 2022

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