Optimal allocation of resources over health care programmes: dealing with decreasing marginal utility and uncertainty

Maiwenn J Al, Talitha L Feenstra, Ben A van Hout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the problem of how to value health care programmes with different ratios of costs to effects, specifically when taking into account that these costs and effects are uncertain. First, the traditional framework of maximising health effects with a given health care budget is extended to a flexible budget using a value function over money and health effects. Second, uncertainty surrounding costs and effects is included in the model using expected utility. Other approaches to uncertainty that do not specify a utility function are discussed and it is argued that these also include implicit notions about risk attitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-67
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Budgets
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Care Rationing
  • Health Services
  • Health Services Research
  • Models, Economic
  • Uncertainty

Cite this