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Willingness-to-pay Against Dementia: Effects of Altruism Between Patients and Their Spouse Caregivers

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  • Markus Koenig
  • Peter Zweifel

    ()
    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

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    Abstract

    Objectives - Preferences of both Alzheimer patients and their spouse caregivers are related to a willingness-to-pay (WTP) measure which is used to test for the presence of mutual (rather than the conventional one-way) altruism. Methods - Identical contingent valuation interviews were conducted in 2000 - 2002 for 126 Alzheimer patients and their caregiving spouses living in the Zurich metropolitan area (Switzerland). We elicit WTP three hypothetical treatments of the demented patient. The treatment Stabilization prevents the worsening of the disease, bringing dementia to a standstill. Cure restores patient health to its original level. In No burden, dementia takes its normal course while caregiver’s burden is reduced to its level before the disease. Results - Different characteristics of therapies are reflected in differences in WTP values. Accepting WTP values as expression of preferences, one finds that patients do not rank Cure higher than No burden; implying that their WTP is entirely altruistic. Caregiving spouses rank Cure before Burden, some 40 percent of their WTP reflecting an altruistic motive again. Discussion - The evidence suggests that WTP values are reliable measures of subjective preferences even in Alzheimer patients. Using this indicator, it is found that only caregivers have extra WTP for Cure, implying that curing dementia has value exclusively to them.

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    File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2004/wp0411.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0411.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0411

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    Keywords: Alzheimer's Disease; dementia; willingness-to-pay; altruism;

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    1. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 1996. "Parental Altruism and Child Lead Exposure: Inferences from the Demand for Chelation Therapy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 677-691.
    2. Jin-Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt & Jung-Der Wang & Jin-Long Liu, 2000. "Mother's willingness to pay for her own and her child's health: a contingent valuation study in Taiwan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 319-326.
    3. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
    4. Klose, Thomas, 1999. "The contingent valuation method in health care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 97-123, May.
    5. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
    6. Alan Diener & Bernie O'Brien & Amiram Gafni, 1998. "Health care contingent valuation studies: a review and classification of the literature," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(4), pages 313-326.
    7. Jorge E. Ara�a & Carmelo J. León, 2002. "Willingness to pay for health risk reduction in the context of altruism," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 623-635.
    8. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
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