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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


How much are parents willing to pay to reduce their child’s asthma symptoms?

08 Jan 2019

Research that estimates parents' willingness to pay (WTP) for measures leading to a reduction in their child’s  asthma symptoms will be presented at CHEPA’s first seminar of the new year on January 16, 2019, by Dr. Irene Mussio, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Economics at McMaster and the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).

Mussio’s  research interests lie in the intersection between health economics and experimental and behavioural economics. For this study, she used a model that combines revealed preference, contingent valuation, and beliefs.

In her study synopsis, Mussio notes that while joint estimation approaches increase the efficiency of estimation, they have not been widely incorporated into the valuation of the burden of a chronic illness. By jointly exploiting the combination of averting behaviours and contingent valuation, the study was able to address the effects of the endogeneity between parents’ beliefs about the severity of their child’s asthma symptoms, current household asthma management, and the decision for hypothetical asthma treatments. She says the results show that beliefs about asthma drive both household behaviours and valuation decisions.

She adds that in the case of a chronic illness it is essential to incorporate into the research subjective perceptions and beliefs, because prior experience will affect responses to valuation, and there is not a linear relationship between asthma, days of symptoms and expenditures (WTP included). When it comes to asthma, parents’ degree of worry about asthma between episodes and their beliefs on what exacerbates asthma affects WTP to reduce the child’s asthma symptoms.

The study calculates a mean WTP of $108.9 to reduce the child’s asthma symptoms by 50% every month. This value increases with the degree of the parent’s worry about asthma between episodes, and if asthma occurs jointly with other illnesses.

Mussio holds a PhD from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She is also a member of the McMaster Decision Science Lab (McDSL) and a degree 2 researcher at the Departamento de Economia at the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la Republica.

The seminar will be held on Wednesday Jan. 16 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in CRL-B119. All are welcome to attend.

It will also be available remotely online through WebEx. To join, please copy and paste the link below into your browser. The password is: CHEPAseminar


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