NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Is Preventive Care Worth the Cost? Evidence from Mandatory Checkups in Japan

Toshiaki Iizuka, Katsuhiko Nishiyama, Brian Chen, Karen Eggleston

NBER Working Paper No. 23413
Issued in May 2017
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

Using unique individual-level panel data, we investigate whether preventive medical care triggered by health checkups is worth the cost. We exploit the fact that biomarkers just below and above a threshold may be viewed as random. We find that people respond to health signals and increase physician visits. However, we find no evidence that additional care is cost effective. For the “borderline type” (“pre-diabetes”) threshold for diabetes, medical care utilization increases but neither physical measures nor predicted risks of mortality or serious complications improve. For efficient use of medical resources, cost effectiveness of preventive care must be carefully examined.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23413

 
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