Using discrete choice experiments to value informal care tasks: exploring preference heterogeneity

Emmanouil Mentzakis, Mandy Ryan, Paul McNamee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


While informal care is a significant part of non-market economic activity, its value is rarely acknowledged, perhaps reflecting a lack of market data. Traditional methods to value such care include opportunity and replacement cost. This study is the first to employ the discrete choice experiment methodology to value informal care tasks. A monetary value is estimated for three tasks (personal care, supervising and household tasks). The relationship between time spent on formal and informal care is also modelled and preference heterogeneity investigated using the Latent Class Model. Complementarity between supervising tasks and formal care is observed. Monetary compensation is important, with willingness to accept per hour values ranging from pound0.38 to pound0.83 for personal care, pound0.75 for supervising and pound0.31 to pound0.6 for household tasks. Heterogeneity in preferences is observed, with monetary compensation being important for younger people, but insignificant for older individuals. Such heterogeneity is important at the policy level. Values are lower than those generated by opportunity cost and replacement cost methods, perhaps because of the limited ability of revealed preference methods to capture broader aspect of utility. Differences with contingent valuation methods are also observed, suggesting future research should investigate the external validity of the different methods. Copyright (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-944
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number8
Early online date26 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • informal care
  • valuation
  • discrete choice experiments
  • latent class model
  • willingness-to-pay
  • mixed logit
  • health-care
  • economic valuation
  • stroke survivors
  • older-people
  • caregivers
  • costs
  • attributes


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