We study two interventions that provide information on antibiotics resistance to potential patients through text messages in Beijing, China. The “self health” intervention emphasizes the threat to own health and is found to have a negligible effect. The “social health” intervention that highlights the threat to the society reduces the usage of antibiotics by 17%. Overall health care utilization is not affected, since neither the number of visits, nor the spending on other drugs, examinations and services falls. The messages are sent once each month for five months, and there is some evidence on habituation toward the end of data coverage.
With Daixin He (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) and Jianan Yang, UC San Diego