Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, Karlstad University Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics

No 12:
The Willingness to Pay for a QALY: a Review of the Empirical Literature

Linda Ryen () and Mikael Svensson ()

Abstract: There has been a rapid increase in the use of cost-effectiveness analysis, with Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) as an outcome measure, in evaluating both medical technologies and public health interventions. Alongside, there is a growing literature on the monetary value of a QALY based on estimates of the willingness to pay (WTP). This paper conducts a review of the literature on the WTP for a QALY. In total 24 studies containing 383 unique estimates of the WTP for a QALY are identified. Trimmed mean and median estimates amount to 74,159 and 24,226 Euros (2010 price level), respectively. In regression analyses the results indicate that the WTP for a QALY is significantly higher if the QALY gain comes from life extension rather than quality of life improvements. The results also show that the WTP for a QALY is dependent on the size of the QALY gain valued.

Keywords: QALY; Willingness to pay; Literature Review; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D61; H51; I18; (follow links to similar papers)

29 pages, July 28, 2014

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This paper is forthcoming as:
Ryen, Linda and Mikael Svensson, 'The Willingness to Pay for a QALY: a Review of the Empirical Literature', Health Economics.

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