For Me or for My Relatives? Approximating Self-Protection and Local Altruistic Motivations Underlying Preferences for Public Health Policies Using Risk Perception Metrics

Aemiro Melkamu Daniel, Niek Mouter, Caspar G. Chorus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Research efforts evaluating the role of altruistic motivations behind health policy support are usually based on direct preference elicitation procedures, which may be biased. We propose an indirect measurement approach to approximate self-protection–related and altruistic motivations underlying preferences for public health policies. Methods: Our new approach relies on associations between on the one hand decision makers’ perceived health risk for themselves and for close relatives and on the other hand their observed preferences for health policies that reduce such risks. The approach allows to make a rough distinction between health-related self-protection and local altruistic motives behind preferences for health policies. We illustrate our approach using data obtained from a discrete choice experiment in the context of policies to relax coronavirus-related lockdown measures in The Netherlands. Results: Our results show that the approach is able to uncover that (1) people who think they have a high chance of experiencing health risks from a COVID-19 infection are more willing to accept a societal or personal sacrifice, (2) people with a higher health risk perception for their relatives have a higher willingness to accept sacrifices than people with a higher health risk perception for themselves, and (3) people who perceive that they have a high risk of dying of COVID-19 have a higher willingness to accept sacrifices than those anticipating less severe consequences of COVID-19. Conclusions: Our method offers a useful proxy metric to distinguish health-related self-protection and local altruism as drivers of citizens’ responses to healthcare policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalValue in Health
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • discrete choice
  • health policy
  • local altruism
  • risk perception
  • self-protection

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