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Increasing marginal utility of small increases in life-expectancy?: Results from a population survey

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  • Kvamme, Maria Knoph
  • Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte
  • Olsen, Jan Abel
  • Kristiansen, Ivar Sønbø

Abstract

The standard practice in cost-effectiveness analyses of health care is to assign a linear value to increasing lifetime gains. The aim of the current study was to examine the possible existence of non-linear utility for short life extensions. A representative sample of the Norwegian population, aged 40-59 years (n = 2402), was asked to imagine that they had a limited remaining lifetime (1 year or 10 years) and were offered a treatment that would increase lifetime by a specified amount of time from 1 week to 1 year. In all scenarios, the price per week of life extension was held constant. The proportion of respondents that accepted the treatment increased with increasing extensions, indicating a convex utility function. The result suggests increasing marginal utility for life extensions up to 1 year.

Suggested Citation

  • Kvamme, Maria Knoph & Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte & Olsen, Jan Abel & Kristiansen, Ivar Sønbø, 2010. "Increasing marginal utility of small increases in life-expectancy?: Results from a population survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 541-548, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:4:p:541-548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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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. 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 1 & University of Caen) 201321, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    3. Franken, Margreet & Stolk, Elly & Scharringhausen, Tessa & de Boer, Anthonius & Koopmanschap, Marc, 2015. "A comparative study of the role of disease severity in drug reimbursement decision making in four European countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 195-202.
    4. Robinson, Angela & Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte & Bacon, Philomena & Baker, Rachel & Pennington, Mark & Donaldson, Cam, 2013. "Estimating a WTP-based value of a QALY: The ‘chained’ approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 92-104.

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