The Value of Public Goods for Use in Public Health: An Economic Perspective

  • Aikaterini Papadopoulou

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


It is recognised that healthcare is not the only way to improve an individual’s health. Community-based programmes can have health and wellbeing impacts; however, the nature of these interventions poses challenges for the typical ways in which we value outcomes for use in economic evaluation. This is mainly due to its non-exclusive and non-rival characteristics which makes them difficult to trade in competitive markets. The approaches to valuation of these types of goods should allow for the incorporation of option value and externalities as well as individual use-value, suggesting a stated preference method such as contingent valuation.

This thesis presents the value of a street music programme, as a public good with health and wellbeing impacts, for use in economic evaluation. The study was designed in two research phases. The first phase included a mixed-method analysis which was used to understand the mechanisms of the music programme, from its implementation procedures, and the resources required, to the potential health and wellbeing impacts to individuals and society. The results of the first phase were synthesised to develop a logic model which was used to inform the development of a contingent valuation study. In the second phase, public preferences were elicited and examined in relation to the nature of the music programme as a public good and for its intended use and non-use perspectives.

From the mixed-methods analysis, happiness and stress relaxation were significantly correlated to participants' experiences with the music programme. Also, community impacts, such as increasing arts participation in neighbourhoods, were significantly correlated to neighbourhoods where the programme was located. Different monetary values resulted from the analysis of the contingent valuation study. Higher Willingness-to-Pay values were elicited for the non-use perspectives, including option value and health externalities. Moreover, income as an indicator of ability to pay has been a significant factor for WTP and public good valuations.

The findings of this study suggest the inclusion of all values for use in economic evaluation, especially in the context of health and wellbeing. Moreover, since health-related public goods are potentially available to everyone, then more collective actions should be endorsed so that positive externalities can be acknowledged and accounted for in public health evaluations.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
SupervisorHelen Mason (Supervisor) & Gianna Cassidy (Supervisor)

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