Assessing willingness to pay for cancer prevention

Michael A. Milligan, Alok K. Bohara, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U. S. and its economic cost is very high. The objective of this study is to analyze the socioeconomic and demographic factors that are related to the willingness to pay (WTP) for cancer prevention. Data from an experimental module in the 2002 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were used to identify WTP differences across different population subgroups. Respondents were asked whether they were willing and able to pay different dollar amounts per month for a new cancer prevention drug. Years of age were negatively related to WTP whereas income and the probability of developing cancer were positively related to WTP. Risk-relevant numeracy skills were positively related to self-assessed cancer risk, which may suggest that adults with poor numeracy skills underestimate their cancer risk. This has consequences not only on the relative perceived value of different cancer treatments across different population subgroups but also on perceived value as captured by WTP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-314
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Cancer
  • Prevention
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Finance


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