Knowing Is Not Half the Battle: Impacts of Information from the National Health Screening Program in Korea

Publisher: Journal of Health Economics, vol. 65
May 01, 2019
Hyuncheol Bryant Kim, Suejin A. Lee, and Wilfredo Lim
Health screening provides information on disease risk and diagnosis, but whether this promotes health is unclear. We estimate the impacts of information provided by Korea's National Health Screening Program by applying a regression discontinuity design around different biomarker thresholds of diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidemia risk using administrative data that includes medical claims, biomarkers, and behavioral surveys over four years after screening. Generally, we find limited responses to disease risk information alone. However, we find evidence for weight loss around the high risk threshold for diabetes, where information is combined with active prompting for a secondary examination for diagnosis and treatment.