Marjon Van der Pol, University of Aberdeen- Time preferences for health

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Melbourne Institute Seminar Series

Title: Time preferences for health

Abstract: Many decisions have consequences which extend over time including education, savings and health(care) decisions.  Time preferences (preference for immediate utility over delayed utility) is a key parameter in economic models of intertemporal choices.  The interest in eliciting time preferences for health has increased rapidly over the last few decades.  This interest has two main sources: a concern over the appropriate methods for taking timing into account in economics evaluations; and a desire to obtain a better understanding of individual health and health care behaviour.  In this presentation I will give an overview of my research in this area and outline some key outstanding research questions.  The talk will cover questions such as:

  • How do we best elicit individuals’ time preferences (for health)?
  • What underlying model is most appropriate? Should we incorporate behavioural biases such as present bias?
  • Does time preference play a role in lifestyle decisions and if so how can we use this information to devise interventions?
  • What is the role of time preference in decision making by clinicians and within the patient-doctor interaction?

Presenter: Marjon Van der Pol, University of Aberdeen

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