A utility-theoretic model for QALYs and willingness to pay
Despite the widespread use of quality-adjusted life years (QALY) in economic evaluation studies, their utility-theoretic foundation remains unclear. A model for preferences over health, money, and time is presented in this paper. Under the usual assumptions of the original QALY-model, an additive separable presentation of the utilities in different periods exists. In contrast to the usual assumption that QALY-weights do solely depend on aspects of health-related quality of life, wealth-standardized QALY-weights might vary with the wealth level in the presented extension of the original QALY-model resulting in an inconsistent measurement of QALYs. Further assumptions are presented to make the measurement of QALYs consistent with lifetime preferences over health and money. Even under these strict assumptions, QALYs and WTP (which also can be defined in this utility-theoretic model) are not equivalent preference-based measures of the effects of health technologies on an individual level. The results suggest that the individual WTP per QALY can depend on the magnitude of the QALY-gain as well as on the disease burden, when health influences the marginal utility of wealth. Further research seems to be indicated on this structural aspect of preferences over health and wealth and to quantify its impact. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Culyer, A J, 1989. "The Normative Economics of Health Care Finance and Provision," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 34-58, Spring.
- Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
- Johannesson, Magnus, 1996. "A note on the relationship between ex ante and expected willingness to pay for health care," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-311, February.
- David Meltzer, 1997. "Accounting for Future Costs in Medical Cost-Effectiveness Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, August.
- Garber, Alan M. & Phelps, Charles E., 1997. "Economic foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, February.
- Orazio Attanasio & James Banks, 1998. "Trends in household saving don't justify tax incentives to boost saving," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 547-583, October.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Moloney, David, 1984. "Consumer's Surplus and Welfare Change in a Simple Dynamic Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 171-76, January.
- Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
- Klose, Thomas, 1999. "The contingent valuation method in health care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 97-123, May.
- Keen, Michael, 1990. "Welfare analysis and intertemporal substitution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 47-66, June.
- Meltzer, David, 1997. "Accounting for future costs in medical cost-effectiveness analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 33-64, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:1:p:17-31. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.