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Economic valuation of informal care: The conjoint measurement method applied to informal caregiving


  • van den Berg, Bernard
  • Al, Maiwenn
  • Brouwer, Werner
  • van Exel, Job
  • Koopmanschap, Marc


This paper reports the results of the application of the conjoint measurement method (CM) to determine a monetary value of informal care. Compared to the normally recommended valuation methods, like the opportunity cost method and proxy good method, CM is probably better able to capture the heterogeneity of informal care. We developed a survey in which informal caregivers were asked to rate four different hypothetical informal caregiving situations, which differed with respect to care hours, care tasks and monetary compensation. Data were obtained from postal surveys. A total of 135 pairs of informal caregivers and care recipients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from the Netherlands returned a completed survey and were used in the analysis. Informal caregivers require an extra compensation of 1.00 euro per hour for providing one additional hour of the same informal care task (meaning that from the seventh to the eighth hour, they require 8 euro). For providing two extra hours of care, they require 2.00 euro compensation per hour. The relative valuation of informal care tasks is very diverse. Respondents require a compensation of 13.43 euro per hour for switching from providing light housework to personal care and 0.56 euro per hour for switching from providing personal care to heavy housework. Though CM is sometimes regarded as cognitively complex, 70% of the respondents were able and willing to evaluate the hypothetical caregiving scenarios. Elderly respondents especially had more difficulty with the method. In sum, CM is seen as a promising alternative for existing methods to determine a monetary value of informal care. The presented valuations of informal care can be incorporated in the numerator of a cost-effectiveness ratio in economic evaluations of health care.

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  • van den Berg, Bernard & Al, Maiwenn & Brouwer, Werner & van Exel, Job & Koopmanschap, Marc, 2005. "Economic valuation of informal care: The conjoint measurement method applied to informal caregiving," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1342-1355, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:6:p:1342-1355

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    Cited by:

    1. van den Berg, Bernard & Brouwer, Werner & van Exel, Job & Koopmanschap, Marc & van den Bos, Geertrudis A.M. & Rutten, Frans, 2006. "Economic valuation of informal care: Lessons from the application of the opportunity costs and proxy good methods," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 835-845, February.
    2. Bernard van den Berg & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2007. "Monetary valuation of informal care: the well-being valuation method," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1227-1244.
    3. Lucy Kok & Caroline Berden & Klarita Sadiraj, 2015. "Costs and benefits of home care for the elderly versus residential care: a comparison using propensity scores," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(2), pages 119-131, March.
    4. Renske Hoefman & Job Exel & Werner Brouwer, 2013. "How to Include Informal Care in Economic Evaluations," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 31(12), pages 1105-1119, December.
    5. Claudine de Meijer & Werner Brouwer & Marc Koopmanschap & Bernard van den Berg & Job van Exel, 2010. "The value of informal care-a further investigation of the feasibility of contingent valuation in informal caregivers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 755-771.
    6. van den Berg, Bernard & Fiebig, Denzil G. & Hall, Jane, 2014. "Well-being losses due to care-giving," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 123-131.
    7. Juan Oliva-Moreno & Marta Trapero-Bertran & Luz Maria Peña-Longobardo & Raúl del Pozo-Rubio, 2017. "The Valuation of Informal Care in Cost-of-Illness Studies: A Systematic Review," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 331-345, March.
    8. Bauer, Jan Michael & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Impacts of Informal Caregiving on Caregiver Employment, Health, and Family," IZA Discussion Papers 8851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Rinaldo Brau & Matteo Lippi Bruni & Anna Maria Pinna, 2010. "Public versus private demand for covering long-term care expenditures," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(28), pages 3651-3668.
    10. Rapp, Thomas & Grand, Alain & Cantet, Christelle & Andrieu, Sandrine & Coley, Nicola & Portet, Florence & Vellas, Bruno, 2011. "Public financial support receipt and non-medical resource utilization in Alzheimer's disease results from the PLASA study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(8), pages 1310-1316, April.
    11. Fanbin Kong & Kai Xiong & Ning Zhang, 2014. "Determinants of Farmers’ Willingness to Pay and Its Level for Ecological Compensation of Poyang Lake Wetland, China: A Household-Level Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-15, September.
    12. Costa-Font, Joan & Rovira-Forns, Joan, 2008. "Who is willing to pay for long-term care insurance in Catalonia?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 72-84, April.
    13. Hareth Al-Janabi & Nikki McCaffrey & Julie Ratcliffe, 2013. "Carer Preferences in Economic Evaluation and Healthcare Decision Making," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Springer;Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, vol. 6(4), pages 235-239, December.
    14. Mahasuweerachai, Phumsith & Pangjai, Siwarut, 2016. "Scope Insensitivity in Child's Health Risk Reduction: A Comparison of Damage Schedule and Choice Experiment Methods," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235577, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    15. Riewpaiboon, Arthorn & Riewpaiboon, Wachara & Ponsoongnern, Kanyarat & Van den Berg, Bernard, 2009. "Economic valuation of informal care in Asia: A case study of care for disabled stroke survivors in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 648-653, August.
    16. van den Berg, Bernard & Van Dommelen, Paula & Stam, Piet & Laske-Aldershof, Trea & Buchmueller, Tom & Schut, Frederik T., 2008. "Preferences and choices for care and health insurance," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2448-2459, June.
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