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Locus of control, health and healthcare utilization

Dusanee Kesavayuth (), Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, Dai Binh Tran and Vasileios Zikos

Economic Modelling, 2020, vol. 86, issue C, 227-238

Abstract: In this paper we analyze the importance of individuals' locus of control for their health and healthcare use. We estimate the direct effects of locus of control. We also examine whether the effects of locus of control on health and healthcare use are explained by lifestyle choices and social capital. Our analysis reveals that individuals with an internal locus of control have better self-assessed health as well as physical and mental health. They rely less on medical care, both preventive and curative. Locus of control predicts health through different pathways, including social capital and health behaviors related to smoking, drinking and physical activity. Similar pathways can explain the link between locus of control and curative care but not necessarily preventive care. Interventions considering not only the direct but also the indirect effects of locus of control are promising avenues for promoting better health.

Keywords: Locus of control; Health; Healthcare utilization; HILDA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D90 I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2019.06.014

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