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A note on the relationship between ex ante and expected willingness to pay for health care


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  • Johannesson, Magnus


It has been argued that the willingness to pay for health care services in contingent valuation studies should be assessed ex ante from an insurance perspective. It may however be easier to assess the willingness to pay among a group of patients in need of a specific treatment. This willingness to pay measure can be used to estimate the expected willingness to pay. This paper investigates the relationship between ex ante and expected willingness to pay. It is shown that expected willingness to pay is a lower bound for ex ante willingness to pay for a treatment that restores the individual to full health for an individual that is risk averse with respect to income. For a treatment that does not restore an individual to full health the expected willingness to pay is not necessarily a lower bound for the ex ante willingness to pay if the marginal utility of income increases with better health.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 42 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
Pages: 305-311

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:42:y:1996:i:3:p:305-311

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Keywords: willingness to pay health care contingent valuation cost-benefit analysis;


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Cited by:
  1. Liljas, Bengt, 1998. "The demand for health with uncertainty and insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 153-170, April.
  2. Greenberg, Dan & Bakhai, Ameet & Neumann, Peter J. & Cohen, David J., 2004. "Willingness to pay for avoiding coronary restenosis and repeat revascularization: results from a contingent valuation study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 207-216, November.
  3. John E. Ataguba & Hyacinth E. Ichoku & William M. Fonta, 2008. "Estimating the willingness to pay for community healthcare insurance in rural Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA, PEP-PMMA 2008-10, PEP-PMMA.
  4. Omar Galárraga & Sandra Sosa-Rubí & César Infante & Paul Gertler & Stefano Bertozzi, 2014. "Willingness-to-accept reductions in HIV risks: conditional economic incentives in Mexico," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 41-55, January.
  5. Thomas Hammerschmidt & Hans-Peter Zeitler & Reiner Leidl, 2004. "A utility-theoretic approach to the aggregation of willingness to pay measured in decomposed scenarios: development and empirical test," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 345-361.
  6. Jose-Luis Pinto-Prades & Veronica Farreras & Jaime de Bobadilla, 2008. "Willingness to pay for a reduction in mortality risk after a myocardial infarction: an application of the contingent valuation method to the case of eplerenone," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 69-78, February.
  7. Thomas Klose, 2003. "A utility-theoretic model for QALYs and willingness to pay," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 17-31.
  8. Joan Costa Font & Juan Rovira Forns, 2004. "Willigness to Pay for Long-Term Care Coverage: the Role of Private Information and Self-Insurance," Working Papers in Economics 124, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.


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