Is Preventive Care Worth the Cost? Evidence from Mandatory Checkups in Japan

Philippines Conference Room 
Encina Hall, 3rd Floor 
616 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

This event is jointly sponsored by the Asia Health Policy Program and the Japan Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC).

Using unique individual-level panel data, we investigate whether preventive care triggered by health checkups is worth the cost. We exploit the fact that the health of individuals just below and above a clinical threshold is similar, whereas treatments differ according to the checkup signals they receive. For the general population, although people respond to health signals about diabetes by increasing utilization, we find no evidence that health outcomes improve after the index checkup. However, if we focus on high-risk individuals, physical measures to improve, and cost-per-life saved is comparable to conventional estimates of the value of a statistical life. This suggests that targeting programs to high-risk groups is essential.

Toshiaki Iizuka is Professor at Graduate School of Economics and Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo. His research interests are in the field of health economics and industrial organization. He has written a number of articles on incentive and information in the health care markets, which appeared in leading economics journals, including American Economic Review, RAND Journal of Economics, and Journal of Health Economics. Dr. Iizuka served as Dean of Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo, between 2016 and 2018. He also serves as Associate Editor for Journal of Health Economics (2019-), and is a recipient of Abe Fellowship (2018-2019). He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MIA from Columbia University, and an ME and BE from the University of Tokyo.


RSVP required by 5PM on Tuesday, October 23, 2018