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Quality of Life and the WTP for an Increased Life Expectancy at an Advanced Age

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Author Info

  • Johannesson, Magnus

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Johansson, Per-Olov

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

In this study we report an attempt to measure the value adult Swedes impute to an increased survival probability at high ages. A rating scale between the worst possible quality of life (=1) and the best possible quality of life (=10) is used to indicate the quality of life a person expects to achieve at an advanced age. We find a highly significant correlation between this quality measure and the insurance premium a person is willing to pay in exchange for a programme increasing the expected lengt of life by one year, conditional on having survived until the age of 75 years. The (maximum) insurance premium the average person is willing to pay for such a progrtamme is less than $1,500. The willingness to pay seems to increase with a person's age, but at a low rate. The implied average marginal rate of time preference is in the range 0.5-1.5 percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 85.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics, 1997, pages 219-228.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0085

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: Expected length of life; time preference; insurance; willingness to pay;

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  1. Sherwin Rosen, . "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  3. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. " Models for Estimating Discount Rates for Long-term Health Risks Using Labor Market Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 381-401, December.
  4. Suen, Wing, 1990. "Statistical Models of Consumer Behavior with Heterogeneous Values and Constraints," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 79-98, January.
  5. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-65, May.
  6. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "The Quantity-Adjusted Value of Life," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 369-88, July.
  7. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1995. "Quality of Life and the WTP for an Increased Life Expectancy at an Advanced Age," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 85, Stockholm School of Economics.
  8. Viscusi, W. Kip & Moore, Michael J., 1989. "Rates of time preference and valuations of the duration of life," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 297-317, April.
  9. Ehrlich, Isaac & Chuma, Hiroyuki, 1990. "A Model of the Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 761-82, August.
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