In this paper we study the feasibility of estimating a monetary value for a QALY (MVQ). Using two different surveys of the Spanish population (total n=892), we consider whether willingness to pay (WTP) is (approximately) proportional to the health gains measured in QALYs. We also explore whether subjects’ responses are prone to any significant biases. We find that the estimated MVQ varies inversely with the magnitude of health gain. We also find two other (ir)regularities: the existence of ordering effects; and insensitivity of WTP to the duration of the period of payment. Taken together, these effects result in large variations in estimates of the MVQ. If we are ever to obtain consistent and stable estimates, we should try to understand better the sources of variability found in the course of this study.
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