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Genetic Risk Factors and Offsetting Behavior: The Case of Skin Cancer.

  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


This paper analyzes the extent of offsetting behavior using survey data on risk beliefs about skin cancer and precautionary actions that people can take to avoid this disease. The perspective taken is that, at conception, people are "installed" with differing genetic characteristics, such as skin type and complexion, which affect the likelihood of contracting skin cancer. The main issue addressed deals with how people's risk beliefs respond to the "safety features" reflected in their own genetic characteristics. Empirical results presented suggest that precautions against solar radiation exposure are chosen so as to partially offset genetic skin cancer protection. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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