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Are children rational decision makers when they are asked to value their own health? A contingent valuation study conducted with children and their parents.

Are children rational decision makers when they are asked to value their own health? A contingent valuation study conducted with children and their parents.
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Guerriero C, Cairns J, Bianchi F, Cori L,


Guerriero C, Cairns J, Bianchi F, Cori L, (click to view)

Guerriero C, Cairns J, Bianchi F, Cori L,

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Health economics 2017 09 13() doi 10.1002/hec.3562
Abstract

Despite the importance of including children’s preferences in the valuation of their own health benefits, no study has investigated the ability of children to understand willingness-to-pay (WTP) questions. Using a contingent valuation method, we elicit children’s and parents’ WTP to reduce children’s risk of an asthma attack. Our results suggest that children are able to understand and value their own health risk reductions, and their ability to do so improves with age. Child age was found to be inversely related to parents’ and children’s WTP. The results also suggest that non-paternalistic altruism is predictive of children’s WTP. For parents, care for their own health was found to be inversely related with their WTP for children’s risk reductions. Comparison of parents’ and children’s WTP suggests that parents are willing to sacrifice for their child’s health risk reduction an amount that is approximately twice that of their children. The analysis of matched pairs of parents and children suggest that there are within-household similarities as the child’s WTP is positively related to parents’ WTP.

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