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An Examination of Consistency in the Incremental Approach to Willingness to Pay: Evidence Using Societal Values for NHS Dental Services

Katherine Carr, Cam Donaldson, John Wildman (), Robert Smith and Christopher R. Vernazza
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Katherine Carr: School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Cam Donaldson: Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
Robert Smith: School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Christopher R. Vernazza: School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Medical Decision Making, 2021, vol. 41, issue 4, 465-474

Abstract: Introduction Willingness to pay (WTP) is used to generate information about value. However, when comparing 2 or more services using standard WTP techniques, the amounts elicited from participants for the services are often similar, even when individuals state a clear preference for one service over another. An incremental approach has been suggested, in which individuals are asked to first rank interventions and provide a WTP value for their lowest-ranked intervention followed by then asking how much more they are willing to pay for their next preferred choice and so on. To date, evaluation of this approach has disregarded protest responses, which may give information on consistency between stated and implicit rankings. Methods A representative sample of the English population ( n = 790) were asked to value 5 dental services adopting a societal perspective, using a payment vehicle of additional household taxation per year. The sample was randomized to either the standard or the incremental approach. Performance for both methods is assessed on discrimination between values for interventions and consistency between implicit and stated ranks. The data analysis is the first to retain protest responses when considering consistency between ranks. Results The results indicate that neither approach provides values that discriminate between interventions. Retaining protest responses reveals inconsistencies between the stated and implicit ranks are present in both approaches but much reduced in the incremental approach. Conclusion The incremental approach does not improve discrimination between values, yet there is less inconsistency between ranks. The protest responses indicate that objections to giving values to the dental interventions are dependent on a multitude of factors beyond the elicitation process.

Keywords: dentistry; oral health; protest responses; willingness to pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0272989X21996329

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