Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #491

Does the Letter Matter (and for Everyone)? - Quasi-experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Invitation on Mammography Uptake

by Vincenzo Carrieri and Ansgar Wübker

RWI, 06/2014, 31 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-560-7 DOI: 10.4419/86788560



We exploit regional variation in the availability of breast cancer screening policies and variations in age eligibility criteria across European regions to estimate the causal effect of home invitation on mammography uptake. We link administrative public data about regional breast cancer screening policies from various sources to individual Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) data. We find that home invitation increases mammography uptakes by almost 20 percentage points. At the same time, we find that home invitation reduces education-related inequalities but increases gradient in the use related to cognitive functions. In addition, significant effects on mammography use are found only when at least 50 per cent of the population is reached by the home invitation. Our results suggest that an exogenous informational shock affects preventive decisions especially among less informed individuals but the effectiveness of invitation is strongly reduced for women who are less able to process information.

JEL-Classification: C10, I 11, I 14, I 1

Keywords: Home invitation; preventive health care; quasi-experiment

Published as:

Carrieri, V. and A. Wübker (2016), Quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of health information on preventive behaviour in Europe. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 78 (6): 765-791. DOI: 10.1111/obes.12134