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Health Econ. 2007 Aug;16(8):861-9.

Use, option and externality values: are contingent valuation studies in health care mis-specified?

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  • 1Health Economics Group, School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.


A general population sample of Australian respondents completed a contingent valuation (CV) survey that asked them to value six scenarios. These varied according to whether the scenario was seeking to elicit: (i) use value; (ii) externality value; (iii) option value; or (iv) a combination. Results indicate that use plus externality and/or option value was significantly greater than use value alone. As CV studies in health (care) overwhelmingly focus on use value alone - often implicitly through study design rather than explicitly - this raises the possibility of mis-specification in CV research in health (care). The implications for CV in health (care) are considered.

Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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