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Population preferences for COVID-19 policies during the pandemic – Using DCE methods to explore lockdown restrictions, intensive care prioritisation and vaccine rollout

10 May, 2021 GMT+1000 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+10

Please click here to register:  https://utsmeet.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqcOusrDkrHdM0WrIbTocGWB36H55af02r

COVID-19 continues to be a major disruption internationally. It has fundamentally changed policy settings and the thinking of both the population and policy makers about how we allocate government resources, and the appropriateness of imposing restrictions that may reduce individual freedom and curtail the economy on the one hand but the spread of the virus on the other.

No other pandemic has had such a major and rapid impact in terms of pressure on hospital beds, rapid spread of infection and the need for radical policy measures in response. In such a situation, new information is needed rapidly to understand what is likely to be most effective, and acceptable to the population, in terms of managing all of the impacts of the pandemic. Given the completely new situation, such information is unlikely to be available from previous experience.

Discrete choice experiments are a method that allows us to gather such information to inform population responses to new policies and programs. In this seminar, we will present three case studies that address key policy questions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Lockdown restrictions - The first case study explores the trade-off between economic and health outcomes of lock-down policies in Australia. By understanding the population’s willingness to make trade-offs between the economic and social consequences of the restrictions it is possible to develop policies that reflect the population’s values and attitudes and hence ones that are more likely to receive acceptance and have better compliance.


  • Intensive care prioritisation - The second case study investigates whether the guidelines developed by the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society for the allocation of scarce resources in the event of an overwhelming number of cases are in line with community preferences. While the use of an active decision making strategy is favoured by the guidelines and by the community, the results of the discrete choice experiment suggest that the guidelines probably underplay the value placed on care-giving responsibilities by the community.


  • Vaccine rollout - The third case study looks at the features of a COVID-19 vaccination programme, such as the characteristics of the vaccine in terms of the effectiveness and side effects, and the features of the roll out program, in particular who should receive the vaccine first. Side effects were shown to be very important and fast track emergency approval made a vaccine less attractive. The accuracy of these findings have been borne out by recent events.

Public acceptance and compliance with COVID-19 polices is vital if the impacts of the global pandemic are to be eliminated.  Together these studies demonstrate the power of choice experiments to understand public preferences and to inform Government policy when there is no previous data or limited experience to rely on.



Professor Michelle Baddeley, Associate Dean Research, UTS Business School will provide an overview of DCEs

Michelle is an expert in behavioural economics and behavioural finance. She has a Bachelor of Economics (First Class) from the University of Queensland and a Masters/PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a Professor in Economics, the UTS Business School’s Associate Dean Research and the Interim Director of the Centre for Business and Social Innovation (CBSI). In her research, she specialises in the application of behavioural insights across a range of themes relevant to people’s economic and financial  decision-making, with projects funded by the ARC, the UK Research Councils and the UK’s Leverhulme Trust. She has published across a wide range of top-ranked journals in economics and science.

 Professor Debbie Street, CHERE, UTS Business School

Debbie is a Professor and Head of the Discrete Choice Experiments Methods Programme at the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney. She has extensive experience in the construction and application of discrete choice experiments in a variety of areas. Health state values are an integral part of the decision about whether or not to fund new drugs through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Debbie has been involved in the development of health state values for the Australian population including the first papers to report on health state values obtained using discrete choice experiments. This is a faster and cheaper process, yielding more consistent results, than its precursor. Debbie is a foundation fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, and is a member of the EuroQol group.

Professor Stephen Goodall, CHERE, UTS Business School

Stephen is a Health Economist and a Deputy Director of CHERE. He is also the manager of the economic evaluation research group. This role involves managing a group of health economists, and liaising, negotiating contracts and completing reports with commissioning agencies. His main areas of interest are; economic evaluation of health technologies, public health, primary care, access to health care and equity. Stephen completed a Master of Health Economics from the University of York. He has a PhD in Vascular Medicine from the University of Leicester, which focused on health services research. Prior to joining CHERE Stephen worked for 7 years within clinical development, where he helped design and manage national and international randomised clinical trials. His work has led to numerous peer reviewed journal articles and conference presentations, as well as several commissioned reports.

Kathleen Manipis, PhD Student, CHERE, UTS Business School

Kathleen joined CHERE as a Research Fellow in September 2015. Prior to joining CHERE's Economic Evaluation team, Kathleen worked on various projects including health technology assessments in the pharmaceutical industry.  Her personal research looks at the economic consequences, both individual and societal, of diseases such as foodborne illness and respiratory infections.  She is in the final year of her PhD.


Register with CHERE here


10 May, 2021 GMT+1000
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+10


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