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The economic value of informal care: a study of informal caregivers' and patients' willingness to pay and willingness to accept for informal care

  • Bernard van den Berg

    (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)

  • Han Bleichrodt

    (iBMG|iMTA, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Louis Eeckhoudt

    (Catholic Faculties Mons, Belgium and Lille, France)

We provide a new test of the feasibility of using contingent valuation to value informal care. We start with a theoretical model of informal caregiving and derive that willingness to pay depends positively on wealth and negatively on own health, whereas the effect of other's health is sign-ambiguous. These predictions are tested in two new data sets on patients' and caregivers' willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) for informal care. The data are generally consistent with the theoretical predictions: wealth generally has a positive impact and own health a negative impact. Other's health has a mixed effect. We find only small differences between WTP and WTA. Our findings suggest that contingent valuation may be a useful technique to value informal care in economic evaluations of health care. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 363-376

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:4:p:363-376
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  1. Gronau, Reuben, 1987. "Home production -- A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 273-304 Elsevier.
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  12. Raymond Y.T. Yeung & Richard D. Smith & Sarah M. McGhee, 2003. "Willingness to pay and size of health benefit: an integrated model to test for 'sensitivity to scale'," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(9), pages 791-796.
  13. Eisenberger, Roselies & Weber, Martin, 1995. "Willingness-to-Pay and Willingness-to-Accept for Risky and Ambiguous Lotteries," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 223-33, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Jan Abel Olsen & Richard D. Smith, 2001. "Theory versus practice: a review of 'willingness-to-pay' in health and health care," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 39-52.
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