Social Indicators Research

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 169–184 | Cite as

Valuing Informal Care Experience: Does Choice of Measure Matter?

  • Emmanouil MentzakisEmail author
  • Paul McNamee
  • Mandy Ryan
  • Matthew Sutton


Well-being equations are often estimated to generate monetary values for non-marketed activities. In such studies, utility is often approximated by either life satisfaction or General Health Questionnaire scores. We estimate and compare monetary valuations of informal care for the first time in the UK employing both measures, using longitudinal data on well-being and informal care provision. The choice of well-being measure has some effect on the estimated parameters and resulting monetary valuations, but any differences are not statistically significant. Further research is needed to confirm the comparability of these measures if researchers are to continue to use them interchangeably.


Informal care Compensating variation Subjective well-being Life-satisfaction GHQ 



We are grateful to an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. We are also grateful to Hugh Gravelle, Aki Tsuchiya and other contributors to the 2009 Health Economists’ Study Group meeting in Sheffield for helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper. The majority of the work was undertaken while one of the authors was funded by an MRC studentship. The Health Economics Research Unit is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates (SGHD). The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the SGHD. Data from the British Household Panel Survey were supplied by the ESRC Data Archive. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanouil Mentzakis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul McNamee
    • 2
  • Mandy Ryan
    • 2
  • Matthew Sutton
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Economics Group, Faculty of HealthUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Health Economics Research UnitUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  3. 3.Health Economics, School of Community Based MedicineUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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