Comparing heuristic valuation processes between health state valuation from child and adult perspectives

Stefan Lipman*, Vivian Reckers-Droog

*Corresponding author for this work

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Health state valuation assumes that respondents trade off between all aspects of choice tasks and maximize their utility. Yet, respondents may use heuristic valuation processes, i.e., strategies to simplify or avoid the trade-offs that are core to health state valuation. The objective of this study is to explore if heuristic valuation processes are more prevalent for valuation from a 10-year-old child’s perspective compared to the use of an adult perspective.


We reused existing data in which EQ-5D health states were valued from adult and child perspectives with composite time trade-off (cTTO) and discrete choice experiment (DCE) tasks. Our analyses focused on comparing completion time and responding patterns across both perspectives. We also explored how reflective of a set of heuristic strategies respondents’ choices were in both perspectives.


We found no evidence for systematic differences in completion time across perspectives. Generally, we find different responding patterns in child perspectives, e.g., more speeding, dominance violations, and clustering of utilities at 1.0, 0.8, and 0. Very few heuristic strategies provide a coherent explanation for the observed DCE responses.


Our results provide some, albeit indirect, evidence for differences in heuristic valuation processes between perspectives, although not across all data sources. Potential effects of heuristic valuation processes, such as transfer of responsibility, may be identified through studying responding patterns in cTTO and DCE responses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe European Journal of Health Economics
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

JEL Classifcation I10

Publisher Copyright: © 2024, The Author(s).


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