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Utility Functions for Life Years and Health Status

Author

Listed:
  • Joseph S. Pliskin

    (Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel)

  • Donald S. Shepard

    (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts)

  • Milton C. Weinstein

    (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts)

Abstract

Multiattribute utility theory is used to suggest a form for a utility function over life years and health status. The analysis is motivated by consideration of two diseases—coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease—in which the choice of treatment may depend on the patient's tradeoff between these attributes. Certain plausible independence properties lead to a quasi-additive utility function for life years and health status. Particular attention is given to utility functions for life years exhibiting constant proportional risk posture. An empirical assessment shows that stated preferences appear consistent with this functional form. The derived utility functions have been applied to the treatment decision of whether to prescribe coronary artery bypass graft surgery in patients with coronary artery disease.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph S. Pliskin & Donald S. Shepard & Milton C. Weinstein, 1980. "Utility Functions for Life Years and Health Status," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 28(1), pages 206-224, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:oropre:v:28:y:1980:i:1:p:206-224
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/opre.28.1.206
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    1. repec:bla:jpbect:v:19:y:2017:i:5:p:1009-1025 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:annopr:v:251:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1910-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ryan Edwards, 2013. "The cost of uncertain life span," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1485-1522, October.
    4. Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2010. "Le calcul de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 487-530, décembre.
    5. Alan M. Garber & Charles E. Phelps, 1992. "Economic Foundations of Cost Effective Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Juan D. Moreno-Ternero & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2017. "A normative foundation for equity-sensitive health evaluation: The role of relative comparisons of health gains," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(5), pages 1009-1025, October.
    7. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 2004. "Transferring Measures of Adult Health Benefits to Children: A Review of Issues and Results," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 468-482, October.
    8. Barnsley, P. & Cubi-Molla, P. & Fischer, A. & Towse, A., 2016. "Uncertainty and Risk in HTA Decision Making," Research Papers 001764, Office of Health Economics.
    9. James Hammitt & Nicolas Treich, 2007. "Statistical vs. identified lives in benefit-cost analysis," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 45-66, August.
    10. Hammitt, James K. & Haninger, Kevin, 2017. "Valuing nonfatal health risk as a function of illness severity and duration: Benefit transfer using QALYs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 17-38.
    11. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10198-017-0916-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Svensson, Mikael & Hultkrantz, Lars, 2012. "The Willingness to Pay for a QALY - Results based on value of statistical life estimates in Sweden," Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics 2, Karlstad University, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10198-017-0883-9 is not listed on IDEAS

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