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The predictive validity of prospect theory versus expected utility in health utility measurement

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  • Abellan-Perpiñan, Jose Maria
  • Bleichrodt, Han
  • Pinto-Prades, Jose Luis

Abstract

Most health care evaluations today still assume expected utility even though the descriptive deficiencies of expected utility are well known. Prospect theory is the dominant descriptive alternative for expected utility. This paper tests whether prospect theory leads to better health evaluations than expected utility. The approach is purely descriptive: we explore how simple measurements together with prospect theory and expected utility predict choices and rankings between more complex stimuli. For decisions involving risk prospect theory is significantly more consistent with rankings and choices than expected utility. This conclusion no longer holds when we use prospect theory utilities and expected utilities to predict intertemporal decisions. The latter finding cautions against the common assumption in health economics that health state utilities are transferable across decision contexts. Our results suggest that the standard gamble and algorithms based on, should not be used to value health.

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  • Abellan-Perpiñan, Jose Maria & Bleichrodt, Han & Pinto-Prades, Jose Luis, 2009. "The predictive validity of prospect theory versus expected utility in health utility measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1039-1047, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:6:p:1039-1047
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    Cited by:

    1. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier, 2013. "Prospect theory in the health domain: A quantitative assessment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1057-1065.
    2. Rheinberger, Christoph M. & Herrera-Araujo, Daniel & Hammitt, James K., 2016. "The value of disease prevention vs treatment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 247-255.
    3. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2012. "A test of independence of discounting from quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 22-34.
    4. Eva Rodríguez Míguez & José María Abellán Perpiñán & José Carlos Álvarez Villamarín & José Manuel González Martínez & Antonio Rodríguez Sampayo, 2013. "Development of a new preference-based instrument to measure dependency," Working Papers 1301, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    5. Adam Oliver, 2018. "Your money and your life: Risk attitudes over gains and losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 29-50, August.
    6. Stefan A. Lipman & Arthur E. Attema, 2019. "Rabin's paradox for health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(8), pages 1064-1071, August.
    7. Spencer, Anne & Rivero-Arias, Oliver & Wong, Ruth & Tsuchiya, Aki & Bleichrodt, Han & Edwards, Rhiannon Tudor & Norman, Richard & Lloyd, Andrew & Clarke, Philip, 2022. "The QALY at 50: One story many voices," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 296(C).
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    9. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Emmanuel Kemel, 2014. "Eliciting Prospect Theory When Consequences Are Measured in Time Units: “Time Is Not Money”," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(7), pages 1844-1859, July.
    10. Lipman, Stefan A. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & Attema, Arthur E., 2020. "Living up to expectations: Experimental tests of subjective life expectancy as reference point in time trade-off and standard gamble," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    11. Oliver, Adam, 2018. "Your money and your life: risk attitudes over gains and losses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88583, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Jose-Luis Pinto-Prades & Jose-Maria Abellan-Perpiñan, 2012. "When normative and descriptive diverge: how to bridge the difference," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(4), pages 569-584, April.
    13. Jeff Richardson & Angelo Iezzi & Kompal Sinha & Munir A. Khan & John Mckie, 2014. "An Instrument For Measuring The Social Willingness To Pay For Health State Improvement," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 792-805, July.
    14. Arthur E. Attema & Werner B.F. Brouwer & Olivier l'Haridon, 2013. "A quantification of prospect theory in the health domain," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes & University of Caen) 201321, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes, University of Caen and CNRS.
    15. Arthur E. Attema & Werner B.F. Brouwer, 2014. "Deriving Time Discounting Correction Factors For Tto Tariffs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 410-425, April.
    16. Rodríguez-Míguez, E. & Abellán-Perpiñán, J.M. & Alvarez, X.C. & González, X.M. & Sampayo, A.R., 2016. "The DEP-6D, a new preference-based measure to assess health states of dependency," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 210-219.
    17. Angela Robinson & Anne Spencer & Peter Moffatt, 2015. "A Framework for Estimating Health State Utility Values within a Discrete Choice Experiment," Medical Decision Making, , vol. 35(3), pages 341-350, April.
    18. Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja & Kokot, Johanna & Vomhof, Markus & Weßling, Jens, 2017. "Health insurance choice and risk preferences under cumulative prospect theory – an experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 374-397.
    19. Hammitt, James K. & Herrera-Araujo, Daniel & Rheinberger, Christoph, 2016. "The Value of Cancer Prevention vs Treatment," TSE Working Papers 16-628, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    20. Ehsan Taheri & Chen Wang, 2018. "Eliciting Public Risk Preferences in Emergency Situations," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 15(4), pages 223-241, December.
    21. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier & Pinto, Jose Luis, 2016. "An elicitation of utility for quality of life under prospect theory," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 121-134.

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