The utility of health and wealth
AbstractTradeoffs between health and wealth are among the most important decisions individuals make, and are central to social and economic policy. Yet, only a few studies have investigated the utility of health and wealth empirically. This paper investigates this utility function both theoretically and empirically. We conduct detailed personal interviews with 180 cancer patients, and also obtain questionnaires from 132 diabetes patients. We find strong support for the utility function U(h, w)=h·log(w), where h denotes health and w denotes wealth.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.
Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560
Utility; Health; Wealth; Logarithmic preference;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
- Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
- Sloan, Frank A. & Kip Viscusi, W. & Chesson, Harrell W. & Conover, Christopher J. & Whetten-Goldstein, Kathryn, 1998. "Alternative approaches to valuing intangible health losses: the evidence for multiple sclerosis1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 475-497, August.
- Rubinstein, Mark, 1976. "The Strong Case for the Generalized Logarithmic Utility Model as the Premier Model of Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 551-71, May.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
- Domeij David & Johannesson Magnus, 2006. "Consumption and Health," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, May.
- Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 1999. "Life-cycle preferences over consumption and health: when is cost-effectiveness analysis equivalent to cost-benefit analysis?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 681-708, December.
- Krabbe, Paul F. M. & Essink-Bot, Marie-Louise & Bonsel, Gouke J., 1997. "The comparability and reliability of five health-state valuation methods," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(11), pages 1641-1652, December.
- Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
- Amy Finkelstein & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013.
"What Good Is Wealth Without Health? The Effect Of Health On The Marginal Utility Of Consumption,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 221-258, 01.
- Finkelstein, Amy & Luttmer, Erzo F. P. & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2008. "What Good Is Wealth without Health? The Effect of Health on the Marginal Utility of Consumption," Working Paper Series rwp08-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Amy Finkelstein & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2008. "What Good Is Wealth Without Health? The Effect of Health on the Marginal Utility of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 14089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Markowitz, Harry M, 1976. "Investment for the Long Run: New Evidence for an Old Rule," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1273-86, December.
- Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2004.
"The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending,"
NBER Working Papers
10737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The value of life and the rise in health spending," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Robert E Hall & Charles I Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72, 02.
- Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, Paul A., 1974. "Fallacy of the log-normal approximation to optimal portfolio decision-making over many periods," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 67-94, May.
- repec:att:wimass:9430 is not listed on IDEAS
- Dolan, P. & Gudex, C. & Kind, P. & Williams, A., 1996. "Valuing health states: A comparison of methods," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 209-231, April.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997.
"How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Public Economics 9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
- Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
- Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
- Hakansson, Nils H., 1971. "Capital Growth and the Mean-Variance Approach to Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 517-557, January.
- Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1997.
"Uncertain Health and Survival: Effects on End-of-Life Consumption,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 254-68, April.
- Lillard, L.A. & Weiss, Y., 1996. "Uncertain Health and Survival: Efefcts on End-of-Life Consumption," Papers 7-96, Tel Aviv.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
- Torrance, George W., 1976. "Social preferences for health states: An empirical evaluation of three measurement techniques," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 129-136.
- Bleichrodt, Han & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "Standard gamble, time trade-off and rating scale: Experimental results on the ranking properties of QALYs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 155-175, April.
- Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Markowitz, Harry M, 1984. " Mean-Variance versus Direct Utility Maximization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 47-61, March.
- Torrance, George W., 1986. "Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal : A review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, March.
- Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.