Targeted Advertising of Preventive Medicine in Canada
The University of Victoria
July 1, 2011
Canada’s universal health insurance system leads to the under-provision of disease prevention by consumers. This paper demonstrates that a public health education campaign designed to increase coverage of preventive treatment can easily have the opposite effect. Using a model of targeted advertising, I examine conditions under which private advertising is superior to a public education campaign in terms of health care outcomes. By assumption, an individual’s risk of illness is common knowledge. Advertising affects a healthy consumer’s perception of the pain and suffering that accompany disease. Public advertising can improve health care, but only if the government refrains from advertising to consumers who have a high risk of illness.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: advertising, preventive medicine, DTCA, health care, targeted advertising
JEL Classification: I11, I18, M3, D11, D21working papers series
Date posted: July 11, 2011
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