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Emotions and decision rules in discrete choice experiments for valuing health care programmes for the elderly


  • Araña, Jorge E.
  • León, Carmelo J.
  • Hanemann, Michael W.


The evaluation of health care programmes is commonly approached with stated preference methods such as contingent valuation or discrete choice experiments. These methods provide useful information for policy decisions involving health regulations and infrastructures for health care. However, econometric modelling of these data usually relies on a number of maintained assumptions, such as the use of the compensatory or random utility maximization rule. On the other hand, health policy issues can raise emotional concerns among individuals, which might induce other types of choice behaviour. In this paper we consider potential deviations from the general compensatory rule, and how these deviations might be explained by the emotional state of the subject. We utilized a mixture econometric model which allows for various potential decisions rules within the sample, such as the complete ignorance, conjunctive rule and satisfactory rules. The results show that deviations from the full linear compensatory decision rule are predominant, but they are significantly less observed for those subjects with a medium emotional state about the issue of caring for the health state of the elderly. The implication is that the emotional impact of health policy issues should be taken into account when making assumptions of individual choice behaviour in health valuation methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J. & Hanemann, Michael W., 2008. "Emotions and decision rules in discrete choice experiments for valuing health care programmes for the elderly," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 753-769, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:753-769

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zhu, Wei & Timmermans, Harry, 2010. "Modeling simplifying information processing strategies in conjoint experiments," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 764-780, July.
    2. Carmelo J. León & Jorge E. Araña, 2012. "The Dynamics of Preference Elicitation after an Environmental Disaster: Stability and Emotional Load," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 362-381.
    3. Rikke Søgaard & Jes Lindholt & Dorte Gyrd-Hansen, 2012. "Insensitivity to Scope in Contingent Valuation Studies," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 397-405, November.
    4. Qing Liu & Neeraj Arora, 2011. "Efficient Choice Designs for a Consider-Then-Choose Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 321-338, 03-04.
    5. Cantillo, Víctor & Amaya, Johanna & Ortúzar, J. de D., 2010. "Thresholds and indifference in stated choice surveys," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 753-763, July.
    6. Waleska Sigüernza & Petr Mariel, 2013. "Valoración económica de los servicios sanitarios en la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 207(4), pages 71-99, December.
    7. Jorge Araña & Carmelo León, 2013. "Can Defaults Save the Climate? Evidence from a Field Experiment on Carbon Offsetting Programs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(4), pages 613-626, April.
    8. León, Carmelo J. & de León, Javier & Araña, Jorge E. & González, Matías M., 2015. "Tourists' preferences for congestion, residents' welfare and the ecosystems in a national park," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 21-29.
    9. Ben McNair & David Hensher & Jeff Bennett, 2012. "Modelling Heterogeneity in Response Behaviour Towards a Sequence of Discrete Choice Questions: A Probabilistic Decision Process Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 599-616, April.
    10. Fischer, Anke & Glenk, Klaus, 2011. "One model fits all? -- On the moderating role of emotional engagement and confusion in the elicitation of preferences for climate change adaptation policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1178-1188, April.
    11. Alessandro Mengoni & Chiara Seghieri & Sabina Nuti, 2013. "The application of discrete choice experiments in health economics: a systematic review of the literature," Working Papers 201301, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
    12. Mandy Ryan & Verity Watson & Vikki Entwistle, 2009. "Rationalising the 'irrational': a think aloud study of discrete choice experiment responses," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 321-336.
    13. Emily Lancsar & Peter Burge, 2014. "Choice modelling research in health economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 28, pages 675-687 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Jesús Clemente López & Pedro García Castrillo & María A. González Alvarez & Marcos Sanso Frago, 2014. "Una evaluación de la efectividad de la formación ocupacional para desempleados antes y después de la crisis económica: el caso de Aragón," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 77-106, March.
    15. Michael Keane & Nada Wasi, 2013. "Comparing Alternative Models Of Heterogeneity In Consumer Choice Behavior," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 1018-1045, September.

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