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What price information? Modelling threshold probabilities of fetal loss


  • Cairns, John
  • Shackley, Phil


This paper is an extension of previous work in which an alternative method of measuring the benefits of antenatal screening was proposed. The method is based on the elicitation of threshold probabilities of fetal loss at which women would be indifferent between having and not having an amniocentesis for the prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormalities. The aim of this paper is to extend the previous work by modelling the preferences of a larger sample of women and investigating the consistency and validity of their responses. The threshold probabilities are elicited using standard gambles and modelled using Tobit estimation. The results indicate that it is possible to model these probabilities in this way and that it is possible to obtain a high degree of consistency in response to standard gamble questions. While establishing the validity of the responses is more difficult there is some evidence that the technique can provide valid responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Cairns, John & Shackley, Phil, 1999. "What price information? Modelling threshold probabilities of fetal loss," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 823-830, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:49:y:1999:i:6:p:823-830

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