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Eliciting Preferences for Collectively Financed Health Programmes: the Willingness to Assign Approach

  • Joan Costa Font
  • Juan Rovira Forns

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Improving public involvement in health system decision making stands as a primary goal in health systems reform. However, still limited evidence is found on how best to elicit preferences for health care programs. This paper examines a contingent choice technique to elicit preferences among health programs so called, willingness to assign (WTAS). Moreover, we elicited contingent rankings as well as the willingness to pay extra taxes for comparative purposes. We argue that WTAS reveals relative (monetary-based) values of a set of competing public programmes under a hypothetical healthcare budget assessment. Experimental evidence is reported from a deliberative empirical study valuing ten health programmes in the context of the Catalan Health Service. Evidence from a our experimental study reveals that preferences are internally more consistent and slightly less affected by preference reversals as compared to values revealed from the willingness to pay (WTP) extra taxes approach. Consistent with prior studies, we find that the deliberative approach helped to avoid possible misunderstandings. Interestingly, although programmes promoting health received the higher relative valuation, those promoting other health benefits also ranked highly.

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Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 117.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2004117
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es

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  1. Paul Dolan & Jan Abel Olsen & Paul Menzel & Jeff Richardson, 2003. "An inquiry into the different perspectives that can be used when eliciting preferences in health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 545-551.
  2. Donaldson, Cam, 1990. "Willingness to pay for publicly-provided goods : A Possible Measure of Benefit?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 103-118, June.
  3. Cookson, Richard, 2000. "Incorporating psycho-social considerations into health valuation: an experimental study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 369-401, May.
  4. Milena Pavlova & Wim Groot & Godefridus Van Merode, 2004. "Willingness and ability of Bulgarian consumers to pay for improved public health care services," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(10), pages 1117-1130.
  5. Nord, Erik & Richardson, Jeff & Street, Andrew & Kuhse, Helga & Singer, Peter, 1995. "Maximizing health benefits vs egalitarianism: An Australian survey of health issues," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1429-1437, November.
  6. Mandy Ryan, 1997. "Should government fund assisted reproductive techniques? A study using willingness to pay," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(7), pages 841-849.
  7. Phil Shackley & Simon Dixon, 2000. "Using contingent valuation to elicit public preferences for water fluoridation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 777-787.
  8. Shackley, Phil & Donaldson, Cam, 2002. "Should we use willingness to pay to elicit community preferences for health care?: New evidence from using a 'marginal' approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 971-991, November.
  9. M. Common & I. Reid & R. Blamey, 1997. "Do existence values for cost benefit analysis exist?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 225-238, March.
  10. Cookson, Richard & Dolan, Paul, 1999. "Public views on health care rationing: a group discussion study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 63-74, September.
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