On 12th June 2017 (1-2pm) Peter Eibich, Post Doc at the Health Economics Research Centre of the University of Oxford, will give a presentation about “Retirement and mammography use: The role of organized screening programs" in Q4.245. Afterwards, Mr. Eibich will be available for questions and discussions. His presentation is part of wiwi.uni-paderborn.de/dep1/me/research/discussing-research/seam/.
Breast cancer is one of the major causes of death among women aged 50 and above. Early detection considerably improves survival, and therefore many countries have introduced mammography screening programs. This paper examines the causal impact of retirement on the uptake of mammography screening. We use data from a series of Eurobarometer surveys conducted between 1996 and 2006, covering 25 different European countries. We address the endogeneity of retirement by using age thresholds for pension eligibility as instruments in a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The results show that retirement reduces the probability of participating in breast cancer screening, but only in countries without an organized screening program. We show that in absence of organized screening, retirement affects cancer beliefs and attitudes. Retired women are more pessimistic about the prevention and treatment of breast cancer than working women. However, changes in cancer beliefs alone cannot explain the strong effect of retirement on mammography uptake, and further unobserved mechanisms are likely to play a role. Above all, our results demonstrate the importance of organized screening programs in maintaining uptake among older women.