Monetary valuation of informal care: the well-being valuation method.

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Journal Article
Health Econ, 2007, 16 (11), pp. 1227 - 1244
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This paper estimates the monetary value of providing informal care by means of a well-being valuation method. This is done by assessing the compensating variation necessary to maintain the same level of well-being after an informal caregiver provides an extra hour of informal care. The informal caregiver's well-being is proxied by the answer to two subjective well-being questions that were posed in a questionnaire answered by 865 Dutch informal caregivers between the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002. In the econometric analysis, a distinction is made between the care recipients who are and the ones who are not a family member of the informal caregiver. The results indicate that an extra hour of informal care is worth about 9 or 10 Euros. This equals 8 or 9 Euros if the care recipient is a family member and about 7 or 9 Euros if not. When applying the contingent valuation method to the same sample, the value obtained was 10.52 Euros per hour. This paper concludes that the well-being valuation method is a useful complement to the more traditional valuation methods in the health economics literature in general and more particularly for the economic valuation of informal care: it includes all costs and effects associated with providing care from the perspective of the informal caregiver, it is relatively cheap to implement, and it offers an additional possibility to determine the convergent validity of the different monetary valuation methods.
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