In the United Kingdom, policy-makers want to improve population health. They also want to reduce inequalities in health between social groups. In contrast, health economic evaluations in the UK are typically “distributionally naïve”: they, usually, focus solely on the average net consequences of interventions, without modelling or valuing their impacts on inequality. Distributional cost effectiveness analysis (DCEA) is a new form of CEA that can capture policy makers stated objectives to improve population health and reduce inequality. We fielded two Person-Trade-Off choice-experiments designed to inform the conduct of DCEAs in the UK. In these studies, we explore how the UK-public think government should act when faced with trade-offs between efficiency and inequality; and test whether “inequality-aversion” differs depending upon the groups between which a health inequality exists and type of health an intervention provides. In total, 1,582 members of the UK-public took part: 80 in a face-to-face study field in Sheffield/Hull, and 1,502 in a study fielded online. We find evidence that the UK-public are more averse to inequalities in health between socioeconomic groups than neutrally labelled groups, and that this difference is, at least in part, driven by the influence non-health factors play in shaping participant responses to questions about socioeconomic groups. In addition, we find evidence that suggests the UK-public are more willing to prioritise disadvantaged socioeconomic groups over advantaged socioeconomic groups for interventions that improve life-expectancy, rather than improve quality of life. In this seminar, Simon will detail these studies and outline their potential implications for DCEA.
This is a free event, which will be taking place online via Zoom. To register your interest in attending this talk please visit: oxford.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/herc-webinar-smcnamara-scharr