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Evidence of preference construction in a comparison of variants of the standard gamble method


  • Brazier, J
  • Dolan, P


An increasingly important debate has emerged around the extent to which techniques such as the standard gamble, which is used, amongst other things, to value health states, actually serve to construct respondents' preferences rather than simply elicit them. According to standard theory, the variant used should have no bearing on the numbers elicited from respondents, i.e. procedural invariance should hold. This study addresses this debate by comparing two variants of standard gamble in the valuation of health states. It was a mixed methods study that combines a quantitative comparison with the probing of respondents in order to ascertain possible reasons for the differences that emerged. Significant differences were found between variants and, furthermore, there was evidence of an ordering effect. Respondents’ responses to probing suggested that they were influenced by the method of elicitation.

Suggested Citation

  • Brazier, J & Dolan, P, 2005. "Evidence of preference construction in a comparison of variants of the standard gamble method," MPRA Paper 29760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kevin J. Boyle & F. Reed Johnson & Daniel W. McCollum, 1997. "Anchoring and Adjustment in Single-Bounded, Contingent-Valuation Questions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1495-1500.
    2. Shiell, Alan & Gold, Lisa, 2002. "Contingent valuation in health care and the persistence of embedding effects without the warm glow," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 251-262, April.
    3. Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer & Deverill, Mark, 2002. "The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 271-292, March.
    4. Dolan, Paul & Robinson, Angela, 2001. "The measurement of preferences over the distribution of benefits: The importance of the reference point," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1697-1709, October.
    5. Dolan, Paul, 2000. "The measurement of health-related quality of life for use in resource allocation decisions in health care," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 32, pages 1723-1760 Elsevier.
    6. Dolan, P. & Gudex, C. & Kind, P. & Williams, A., 1996. "Valuing health states: A comparison of methods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 209-231, April.
    7. William Furlong & David Feeny & George Torrance & Ronald Barr & John Horsman, 1992. "Guide to Design and Development of Health-State Utility Instrumentation," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1990-09, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    8. Oliver, Adam, 2003. "A quantitative and qualitative test of the Allais paradox using health outcomes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 35-48, February.
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    More about this item


    preference construction; anchoring effects; ordering effects; standard gamble; health valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other


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