IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Benefit Transfer Functions for Avoided Morbidity: A Preference Calibration Approach


  • George L. Van Houtven
  • Subhrendu K. Pattanayak
  • V. Kerry Smith


Preference calibration has been proposed as a method for improving benefit transfers (Smith et al., 2002). The objective of this method is to develop a WTP function that can be used to predict individuals’ values for a wide range of quality changes. The analyst’s specification of preferences determines the form of this WTP function, and existing empirical studies provide the information that is needed to identify values for its parameters. The purpose of this paper is to explore and illustrate how the logic of preference calibration can be applied in the area of morbidity valuation. Using relatively simple functional forms for utility, we consider both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) illness. To identify values for key preference parameters, we combine information about WTP, health indexes, income, and, in some cases, duration of illness. We then use the calibrated parameters to specify WTP functions. Finally, we demonstrate how these functions can serve as benefit transfer functions, using them to predict WTP for a range of reductions in the severity and/or duration of illness and for different income levels.

Suggested Citation

  • George L. Van Houtven & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & V. Kerry Smith, 2004. "Benefit Transfer Functions for Avoided Morbidity: A Preference Calibration Approach," NCEE Working Paper Series 200404, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Apr 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200404

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2004
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, V. Kerry & Van Houtven, George & Pattanayak, Subhrendu, 1999. "Benefit Transfer as Preference Calibration," Discussion Papers dp-99-36, Resources For the Future.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1986:76:4:392-396_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. F. Reed Johnson & Melissa Ruby Banzhaf & William H. Desvousges, 2000. "Willingness to pay for improved respiratory and cardiovascular health: a multiple-format, stated-preference approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 295-317.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mark Dickie & John List, 2006. "Economic Valuation of Health for Environmental Policy: Comparing Alternative Approaches. Introduction and Overview," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(3), pages 339-346, July.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200404. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Cynthia Morgan). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.