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Valuing HealthWell-Being, Freedom, and Suffering$
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Daniel M. Hausman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190233181

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190233181.001.0001

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Valuing Health States by Eliciting Preferences

Valuing Health States by Eliciting Preferences

(p.84) 8 Valuing Health States by Eliciting Preferences
Valuing Health

Daniel M. Hausman

Oxford University Press

Health economists can draw conclusions about what makes people better off from the preferences of competent evaluators if three conditions are met: (1) respondents have true beliefs concerning the relevant facts; (2) their preferences reflect their judgment concerning what promotes their own interests; and (3) their preferences satisfy the standard axioms and are not distorted by deliberative flaws. In the special context of eliciting preferences in order to assign values to health states, health economists might be able to shape the circumstances to enable people to satisfy the three conditions. This chapter shows that health economists have failed to implement this strategy and considers how much economists can do. In particular it considers the questions of whose preferences to elicit, whether averaging is defensible, and whether health economists should be eliciting preferences rather than attempting to evaluate health states themselves.

Keywords:   preference and well-being, social choice theory, aggregating individual preferences, health-state evaluation, health and disability

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