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Introducing a "Different Lives" Approach to the Valuation of Health and Well-Being

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  • Adler, Matthew D.
  • Dolan, Paul
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    Abstract

    We introduce a new 'different lives' survey format, which asks respondents to rank hypothetical lives described in terms of longevity, health, happiness, income, and other elements of the quality of life. In this short paper, we show that the format is of policy relevance whether a mental state, preference satisfaction or extra-welfarist account of well-being is adopted and discuss some of the advantages the format has over standard formats, such as contingent valuation surveys and QALY-type methods. An exploratory survey indicates that the format is feasible and that health and happiness might be more important than income and life expectancy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 559.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:559

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    Web page: http://regulation2point0.org/

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    1. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 827, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Brouwer, Werner B.F. & Culyer, Anthony J. & van Exel, N. Job A. & Rutten, Frans F.H., 2008. "Welfarism vs. extra-welfarism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 325-338, March.
    3. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, December.
    4. Brouwer, Werner B. F. & Koopmanschap, Marc A., 2000. "On the economic foundations of CEA. Ladies and gentlemen, take your positions!," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 439-459, July.
    5. Dolan, Paul, 1998. "The measurement of individual utility and social welfare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 39-52, January.
    6. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
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