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The Value of Pain Relief


  • Carina Furnee
  • Marius Kemler
  • Gerard A. Pfann


This paper measures the value of functional capacity improvement from electronic pain treatment among a sample of Dutch workers with peripheral nerve injuries. Randomized clinical trial data and individual medical records from injured workers are compared with administrative data of healthy workers to calibrate the treatment’s net present value of capacity improvement. The value of basic improvement averages 109,000 Dutch 1995 guilders or 25 percent of the total earnings loss without treatment. The value of advanced improvement, when on-the-job learning capacity is recovered, amounts to 150,000 Dutch guilders or 32 percent for workers with university education.

Suggested Citation

  • Carina Furnee & Marius Kemler & Gerard A. Pfann, 2001. "The Value of Pain Relief," Working Papers 0111, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
    3. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 1992. "Disability Transfers, Self-Reported Health, and the Labor Force Attachment of Older Men: Evidence from the Historical Record," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1393-1419.
    4. Werner B.F. Brouwer & Marc A. Koopmanschap & Frans F.H. Rutten, 1997. "Productivity costs in cost-effectiveness analysis: numerator or denominator: a further discussion," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(5), pages 511-514.
    5. Alan B. Krueger & Douglas Kruse, 1995. "Labor Market Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries in the Dawn of the Computer Age," Working Papers 728, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1419-1426, December.
    7. Manning, Willard G., 1998. "The logged dependent variable, heteroscedasticity, and the retransformation problem," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-295, June.
    8. Bound, John, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1427-1434, December.
    9. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
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    More about this item


    pain relief; capacity improvement; productivity; the Netherlands;

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior


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