Scan featured publications, projects and work conducted by our center community and our decision science colleagues across the globe.


What Does the Public Value?

How should we allocate scarce public resources? What should we use our public funds to pay for and what should we not? The “value of a statistical life” (VSL) places a dollar amount on how much a life is worth, and therefore how much we should “spend” to save one. Learn more.


Patient Preferences

Patients are faced with complex treatment decisions every day. Understanding how decisions are made, what is important in different contexts, how decisions differ when there are dependents orat the end of life, all matter to helping patients navigate care. Learn more.  


Choice-Based Methods

Understanding mechanisms and components of choices are key considerations in a decision analysis. Choice-based methods for preference measurement offer new options for quantifying decision inputs to inform economic evaluation. Learn more.

Vaccination Preferences

Parents’ preferences for childhood vaccinations are highly influenced by perceived risks and benefits. For hypothetical vaccinations presented in a national survey—how did parents value number of injections versus vaccine complications versus vaccine effectiveness? The results illustrate the role of emotion in vaccine risk communication.

Joint Utility Estimators

Co-occurring conditions are commonly encountered in cost-effectiveness analyses of interventions, yet "values" associated with these health states are challenging to measure. In the context of substance use disorder, alternative methods were used to estimate joint utilities. How did these differences in methodological approaches influence the results?

Best-Worst Scaling

Best-worst scaling (BWS) is part of a family of choice measurement methods that quantify the strength of preferences - how strongly people like or dislike something. To better understand how women value different attributes of cervical cancer screening programs, best-worst scaling was used to assess homeless women’s preferences for Pap smears.

Image of Zach Ward.

Featured Student: Zach Ward

Zach Ward is in his third year of the Decision Sciences track of the Harvard Ph.D. Program in Health Policy. Originally from Kenya, Zach has worked with community-based NGOs in Tanzania, Malawi, and Rwanda. He is developing open-access decision analytic software as well as pursuing dissertation research on social networks in health.