The economic value of informal care: a study of informal caregivers' and patients' willingness to pay and willingness to accept for informal care.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Health Econ, 2005, 14 (4), pp. 363 - 376
Issue Date:
2005-04
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We provide a new test of the feasibility of using contingent valuation to value informal care. We start with a theoretical model of informal caregiving and derive that willingness to pay depends positively on wealth and negatively on own health, whereas the effect of other's health is sign-ambiguous. These predictions are tested in two new data sets on patients' and caregivers' willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) for informal care. The data are generally consistent with the theoretical predictions: wealth generally has a positive impact and own health a negative impact. Other's health has a mixed effect. We find only small differences between WTP and WTA. Our findings suggest that contingent valuation may be a useful technique to value informal care in economic evaluations of health care.
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