Health Behavior in Developing Countries
Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: September 2011
The disease burden in low-income countries is extremely high. Malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, AIDS, and other diseases are estimated to kill more than 15 million people each year, most of them children. Yet the great majority of these diseases can be prevented or treated. This article reviews microeconomic studies of health-seeking behavior in low-income countries. Factors examined include information, peers, liquidity constraints, and nonrational preferences, such as present bias. I then discuss the implications for policy, including the scope for mandates, subsidies, and incentives.
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