Earlier work suggested that subjective life expectancy (SLE) functions as reference point intime trade-off (TTO), but has not tested or modelled this explicitly. In this paper we constructa model based on prospect theory to investigate these predictions more thoroughly. Wereport the first experimental test of reference-dependence with respect to SLE for TTO andextend this approach to standard gamble (SG). In two experiments, subjects’ SLEs wereused to construct different versions of 10-year TTO and SG tasks, with the gauge durationeither described as occurring above or below life expectation. Our analyses suggest thatboth TTO and SG weights were affected by SLE as predicted by prospect theory with SLEas reference point. Subjects gave up fewer years in TTO and were less risk-tolerant in SGbelow SLE, implying that weights derived from these health state valuation methods fordurations below SLE will be biased upwards.

Time trade-off, Standard gamble, QALY model, Prospect theory, Subjective life expectancy, Reference point
Health (jel I1), Intertemporal Choice and Growth (jel D9)
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102318, hdl.handle.net/1765/125768
Journal of Health Economics
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Lipman, S.A, Brouwer, W.B.F, & Attema, A.E. (2020). Living up to expectations: Experimental tests of subjective life expectancy as reference point in time trade-off and standard gamble. Journal of Health Economics. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102318