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Money for health: the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases

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  • Wim Groot
  • Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink
  • Erik Plug

Abstract

This paper introduces a new method to calculate the extent to which individuals are willing to trade money for improvements in their health status. An individual welfare function of income (WFI) is applied to calculate the equivalent income variation of health impairments. We believe that this approach avoids various drawbacks of alternative willingness‐to‐pay methods. The WFI is used to calculate the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases. It is found that for a 25 year old male the equivalent variation of a heart disease ranges from €114 000 to €380 000 depending on the welfare level. This is about €10 000–€30 000 for an additional life year. The equivalent variation declines with age and is about the same for men and women. The estimates further vary by discount rate chosen. The estimates of the equivalent variation are generally higher than the money spent on most heart‐related medical interventions per QALY. The cost‐benefit analysis shows that for most interventions the value of the health benefits exceeds the costs. Heart transplants seem to be too costly and only beneficial if patients are young. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Wim Groot & Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink & Erik Plug, 2004. "Money for health: the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 859-872, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:9:p:859-872
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.867
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    9. Kapteyn, Arie & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & van Soest, Arthur, 2009. "Intertemporal consumption with directly measured welfare functions and subjective expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 425-437.
    10. Nils Braakmann, 2009. "Other-regarding preferences, spousal disability and happiness: Evidence from German couples," Working Paper Series in Economics 130, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    11. Sven Fuchs & Magdalena Thöni & Maria McAlpin & Urs Gruber & Michael Bründl, 2007. "Avalanche Hazard Mitigation Strategies Assessed by Cost Effectiveness Analyses and Cost Benefit Analyses—evidence from Davos, Switzerland," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 41(1), pages 113-129, April.
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    13. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting different price tags on the same health condition: Re-evaluating the well-being valuation approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1032-1043.
    14. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A., 2008. "Happiness Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3604, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Wim Groot & Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink, 2006. "The compensating income variation of cardiovascular disease," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1143-1148, October.
    16. Sebastian Galiani & Paul J. Gertler & Raimundo Undurraga, 2015. "The Half-Life of Happiness: Hedonic Adaptation in the Subjective Well-Being of Poor Slum Dwellers to a Large Improvement in Housing," NBER Working Papers 21098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Ólafsdóttir, Thorhildur & Ásgeirsdóttir, Tinna Laufey & Norton, Edward C., 2020. "Valuing pain using the subjective well-being method," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    18. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Equity in health and health care," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2011026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    19. Danyliv, Andriy & Groot, Wim & Gryga, Irena & Pavlova, Milena, 2014. "Willingness and ability to pay for physician services in six Central and Eastern European countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 72-82.
    20. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2013. "Happiness economics," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 35-60, March.
    21. Shou-Lin Yang & Chiung-Ying Lee, 2015. "Analysis of the medical demands of elderly dementia patients considering the caregiver cost of medical accompaniment: an application of the travel cost method and altruistic utility function," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 423-439, January.
    22. Nils Braakmann, 2014. "The consequences of own and spousal disability on labor market outcomes and subjective well-being: evidence from Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 717-736, December.
    23. Howley, Peter, 2017. "Less money or better health? Evaluating individual’s willingness to make trade-offs using life satisfaction data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 53-65.
    24. Ricardo Pagán-Rodríguez, 2010. "Onset of disability and life satisfaction: evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 11(5), pages 471-485, October.
    25. Howley, P., 2016. "Valuing the benefits from health care interventions using life satisfaction data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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