Wait for others? Social and intertemporal preferences in allocation of healthcare resources

Merel van Hulsen

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Every day, people make decisions that involve allocating scarce resources like time or money to one use or another. Such decisions may come with different consequences for others (social preferences) and for the future (intertemporal preferences). So far, research regarding the effect of peoples’ social and intertemporal preferences on their decision making have remained largely separate. In this thesis, the joint effect of these preferences on allocation decisions is studied. The focus in these studies is on decision making in the healthcare domain. This is an interesting and relevant domain for studying social and intertemporal preferences because in most countries the budget for healthcare is limited and, therefore, decisions have to be made about how to spend this budget. Decisions about who receives treatment and when may of course have significant temporal and social consequences.

All in all, using a variety of methods for collecting and analyzing data across the four chapters, this thesis shows that social preferences seem to have a stronger effect on decision making in the health care context than intertemporal preferences. Moreover, while there is considerable difference in preferences between people participating in the studies, a part of them is purely selfish in their choice behavior while another part seems more motivated by inequity aversion. This heterogeneity poses a challenge for policy makers. Targeted policies and communication strategies will be required to achieve behavioral change or public support for policies in the majority of the population.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Rohde, Kirsten, Supervisor
  • van Exel, Job, Supervisor
Award date21 Apr 2023
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Print ISBNs978-90-5892-662-3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023


  • ERIM PhD Series Research in Management


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