Journal article

How do individuals' health behaviours respond to an increase in the supply of health care? Evidence from a natural experiment

Eleonora Fichera, Ewan Gray, Matt Sutton



The efficacy of the management of long-term conditions depends in part on whether healthcare and health behaviours are complements or substitutes in the health production function. On the one hand, individuals might believe that improved health care can raise the marginal productivity of their own health behaviour and decide to complement health care with additional effort in healthier behaviours. On the other hand, health care can lower the cost of unhealthy behaviours by compensating for their negative effects. Individuals may therefore reduce their effort in healthier lifestyles. Identifying which of these effects prevails is complicated by the endogenous nature of treatment decisions and..

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Awarded by MRC Early Career Fellowship in Economics of Health

Awarded by Medical Research Council

Awarded by National Institute for Health Research

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) for their financial support. Eleonora Fichera acknowledges financial support from the MRC Early Career Fellowship in Economics of Health (MR/K021583/1). The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of MICRA or the MRC. Responsibility for the interpretation of the data is the authors' alone.