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Evidence of range bias in contingent valuation payment scales

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  • David K. Whynes

    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham, UK)

  • Jane L. Wolstenholme

    (Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK)

  • Emma Frew

    (Health Economics Facility, University of Birmingham, UK)

Abstract

The payment scale format has been widely used in willingness-to-pay studies in health care. Concerns have been expressed that the format is, in theory, prone to range bias, although this proposition has not been tested directly. We report the findings of a contingent valuation questionnaire study of colorectal cancer screening, wherein different subjects were provided with payment scales of two different lengths. Whilst the long-scale instrument included scale values up to £1000, the short-scale version extended only to £100. After controlling for inter-sample differences in, for example, income, education and health behaviour, it emerged that the long-scale instrument produced a mean willingness to pay more than 30% higher than that resulting from the short-scale version. We believe our findings to be strongly supportive of the likelihood of range bias in payment-scale instruments, with important consequences for the estimation of both average valuation and consumer surplus. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David K. Whynes & Jane L. Wolstenholme & Emma Frew, 2004. "Evidence of range bias in contingent valuation payment scales," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 183-190.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:2:p:183-190
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.809
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Chanel & Khaled Makhloufi & Mohammad Abu-Zaineh, 2017. "Can a Circular Payment Card Format Effectively Elicit Preferences? Evidence From a Survey on a Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme in Tunisia," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 385-398, June.
    2. Kangethe, Anne & Franic, Duska M. & Corso, Phaedra S., 2016. "Comparing the validity of the payment card and structured haggling willingness to pay methods: The case of a diabetes prevention program in rural Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 86-96.
    3. Paul McNamee & Laura Ternent & Adjima Gbangou & David Newlands, 2010. "A game of two halves? Incentive incompatibility, starting point bias and the bidding game contingent valuation method," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 75-87.
    4. Zoë Philips & David K. Whynes & Mark Avis, 2006. "Testing the construct validity of willingness to pay valuations using objective information about risk and health benefit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 195-204.
    5. Richard D. Smith, 2006. "It's not just what you do, it's the way that you do it: the effect of different payment card formats and survey administration on willingness to pay for health gain," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 281-293.
    6. Levan Elbakidze & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr. & Hao Li & Chris McIntosh, 2014. "Value elicitation for multiple quantities of a quasi-public good using open ended choice experiments and uniform price auctions," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(2), pages 253-265, March.
    7. Dorte Gyrd-Hansen, 2013. "Using the Stated Preference Technique for Eliciting Valuations: The Role of the Payment Vehicle," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 31(10), pages 853-861, October.
    8. Laura J. Damschroder & Peter A. Ubel & Jason Riis & Dylan M. Smith, 2007. "An alternative approach for eliciting willingness-to-pay: A randomized Internet trial," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 96-106, April.
    9. van der Star, Sanne M. & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Individual responsibility and health-risk behaviour: A contingent valuation study from the ex ante societal perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 300-311, August.
    10. Dror, David Mark & Radermacher, Ralf & Koren, Ruth, 2007. "Willingness to pay for health insurance among rural and poor persons: Field evidence from seven micro health insurance units in India," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 12-27, June.
    11. van Exel, N.J.A. & Brouwer, W.B.F. & van den Berg, B. & Koopmanschap, M.A., 2006. "With a little help from an anchor: Discussion and evidence of anchoring effects in contingent valuation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 836-853, October.
    12. David Whynes & Emma Frew & Jane Wolstenholme, 2005. "Willingness-to-Pay and Demand Curves: A Comparison of Results Obtained Using Different Elicitation Formats," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 369-386, December.
    13. Smith, Richard D., 2005. "Sensitivity to scale in contingent valuation: the importance of the budget constraint," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 515-529, May.
    14. Michael Ahlheim & Oliver Frör & Antonia Heinke & Alwin Keil & Nguyen Minh Duc & Pham Van Dinh & Camille Saint-Macary & Manfred Zeller, 2008. "Landslides in mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam: Causes, protection strategies and the assessment of economic losses," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 298/2008, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    15. Lars Hein & Pete Roberts & Lucia Gonzalez, 2016. "Valuing a Statistical Life Year in Relation to Clean Air," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(04), pages 1-24, December.
    16. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0825-y is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:metrik:v:80:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00184-017-0610-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Frör, Oliver, 2008. "Bounded rationality in contingent valuation: Empirical evidence using cognitive psychology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 570-581, December.
    19. Braun, Carola & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2016. "Validity of Willingness to Pay Measures under Preference Uncertainty," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 141320, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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