Targeted Health Warnings Amidst Extreme Inequality: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in South Africa

74 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2022 Last revised: 1 Mar 2022

See all articles by Timothy Köhler

Timothy Köhler

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics

Darren Conyngham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ronelle Burger

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Cobus Burger

Stellenbosch University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 10, 2022

Abstract

We make use of a quasi-experimental design and panel survey data of South African adults to, in a context of extreme inequality, estimate and examine the impact of a blood pressure-related health warning on objective and subjective health and behavioural outcomes. We additionally analyse effect heterogeneity by awareness and insurance status. While we find that the warning reduced the probabilities of reporting good self-assessed health and frequently drinking alcohol both by 4 percentage points, we observe notable heterogeneity by health insurance coverage but not awareness status. Among the insured, we estimate a significant negative effect of 13.9mmHg on systolic blood pressure. Our findings suggest that targeted health warnings may have the potential to improve health outcomes even in a context of extreme inequality, however the effectiveness of such interventions may depend on access to quality health services and resources.

Keywords: South Africa, blood pressure, hypertension, health warning, regression discontinuity design, health economics

JEL Classification: I10, 12, I13

Suggested Citation

Köhler, Timothy and Conyngham, Darren and Burger, Ronelle and Burger, Cobus, Targeted Health Warnings Amidst Extreme Inequality: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in South Africa (January 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4006009 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4006009

Timothy Köhler (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics ( email )

Rondebosch
Cape Town, 7700
South Africa

Darren Conyngham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ronelle Burger

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Cobus Burger

Stellenbosch University - Department of Economics ( email )

Private Bag X1
Matieland, 7602
South Africa

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