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The social welfare function and individual responsibility: Some theoretical issues and empirical evidence

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  • Dolan, Paul
  • Tsuchiya, Aki

Abstract

The literature on income distribution has attempted to evaluate different degrees of inequality using a social welfare function (SWF) approach. However, it has largely ignored the source of such inequalities, and has thus failed to consider different degrees of inequity. The literature on egalitarianism has addressed issues of equity, largely in relation to individual responsibility. This paper builds upon these two literatures, and introduces individual responsibility into the SWF. Results from a small-scale study of people's preferences in relation to the distribution of health benefits are presented to illustrate how the parameter values of a SWF might be determined.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 210-220

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:1:p:210-220

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Equity Social welfare function Individual responsibility;

References

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  1. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  2. Erik Schokkaert & Kurt Devooght, 2003. "Responsibility-sensitive fair compensation in different cultures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 207-242, October.
  3. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
  4. Dolan, Paul, 1998. "The measurement of individual utility and social welfare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 39-52, January.
  5. Rebecca Shaw & Paul Dolan & Aki Tsuchiya & Alan Williams & Peter Smith & Roger Burrows, 2001. "Development of a questionnaire to elicit public preferences regarding health inequalities," Working Papers 040cheop, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  6. Pedro Rosa Dias & Andrew M. Jones, 2007. "Giving equality of opportunity a fair innings," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 109-112.
  7. Paul Dolan & Jan Abel Olsen & Paul Menzel & Jeff Richardson, 2003. "An inquiry into the different perspectives that can be used when eliciting preferences in health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 545-551.
  8. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  9. Olsen, Jan Abel, 1997. "Theories of justice and their implications for priority setting in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 625-639, December.
  10. Schweitzer, Maurice, 1995. "Multiple Reference Points, Framing, and the Status Quo Bias in Health Care Financing Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 69-72, July.
  11. Dolan, Paul & Robinson, Angela, 2001. "The measurement of preferences over the distribution of benefits: The importance of the reference point," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1697-1709, October.
  12. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967, April.
  13. Culyer, A J, 1989. "The Normative Economics of Health Care Finance and Provision," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 34-58, Spring.
  14. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equal Opportunity or Equal Social Outcome?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 25-55, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Jose Luis Pinto Prades & Fernando Sanchez Martínez & Belen Corbacho, 2011. "Valuing qalys at the end of life," Working Papers 11.15, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  2. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2014. "Equality of Opportunity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000914, David K. Levine.
  3. van der Star, Sanne M. & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Individual responsibility and health-risk behaviour: A contingent valuation study from the ex ante societal perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 300-311, August.
  4. Mæstad, Ottar & Norheim, Ole Frithjof, 2012. "A universal preference for equality in health? Reasons to reconsider properties of applied social welfare functions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1836-1843.
  5. Lars Schwettmann, 2012. "Competing allocation principles: time for compromise?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 357-380, September.

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