IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Testing the descriptive performance of the rank-dependent utility in the domain of health profiles

Listed author(s):
  • José M. Abellán Perpiñán

    (Department of Applied Economics, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain Department of Economics, Center for Health Economics, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain)

  • José Luis Pinto Prades

    (Department of Applied Economics, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain Department of Economics, Center for Health Economics, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain)

Expected utility theory (EUT) has been challenged as a descriptive theory in many contexts. The medical decision analysis context is not an exception. Several researchers have suggested that rank dependent utility theory (RDUT) may accurately describe how people evaluate alternative medical treatments. Recent research in this domain has addressed a relevant feature of RDU models - probability weighting - but to date no direct test of this theory has been made. This paper provides a test of the main axiomatic difference between EUT and RDUT when health profiles are used as outcomes of risky treatments. Overall, EU best described the data. However, evidence on the editing and cancellation operation hypothesized in Prospect Theory and Cumulative Prospect Theory was apparent in our study. We found that RDU outperformed EU in the presentation of the risky treatment pairs in which the common outcome was not obvious. The influence of framing effects on the performance of RDU and their importance as a topic for future research is discussed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & Spanish Economic Association in its journal Spanish Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 177-191

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:specre:v:3:y:2001:i:3:p:177-191
Contact details of provider: Web page:


Universidad del País Vasco; DFAE II; Avenida Lehendakari Aguirre, 83; 48015 Bilbao; Spain

Phone: +34 94 6013783
Fax: + 34 94 6013774
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:specre:v:3:y:2001:i:3:p:177-191. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.