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Are subjective well-being measures any better than decision utility measures?




There are a number of substantial problems with using decision-based utility measures such as the time trade off and standard gamble to value improvements in health. Dolan (this issue) argues that because of these problems, it would be better to use measures of real experiences (subjective well being). We review evidence that supports criticisms of decision-based utility measures, whether provided by patients or non-patients. But we also review a number of substantial problems with currently used measures of subjective well-being, and point out that there is no definitive evidence that they represent any improvement over decision utility measures. We conclude with a call for expanded research into developing new tools for quantifying health-related quality of life that are more valid, more sensitive to changes in health status, and less biased.

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  • Smith, Dylan M. & Brown, Stephanie L. & Ubel, Peter A., 2008. "Are subjective well-being measures any better than decision utility measures?," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 85-91, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:hecopl:v:3:y:2008:i:01:p:85-91_00

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    1. Kaestner, R. & Joyce, T. & Racine, A., 2001. "Medicaid eligibility and the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations for children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 305-313, January.
    2. Kristine A. Lykens & Paul A. Jargowsky, 2002. "Medicaid matters: children's health and medicaid eligibility expansions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 219-238.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    4. Dahlberg, Matz & Lundin, Douglas, 2005. "Antidepressants and the Suicide Rate: Is There Really a Connection?," Working Paper Series 2005:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Jens Ludwig & Dave E. Marcotte, 2005. "Anti-depressants, suicide, and drug regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 249-272.
    6. Kaestner, Robert & Dubay, Lisa & Kenney, Genevieve, 2005. "Managed care and infant health: an evaluation of Medicaid in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 1815-1833, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Caballero & Marta Miret & Beatriz Olaya & Jaime Perales & Ruy López-Ridaura & Josep Haro & Somnath Chatterji & José Ayuso-Mateos, 2014. "Evaluation of Affect in Mexico and Spain: Psychometric Properties and Usefulness of an Abbreviated Version of the Day Reconstruction Method," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 915-935, August.
    2. Mukuria, Clara & Brazier, John, 2013. "Valuing the EQ-5D and the SF-6D health states using subjective well-being: A secondary analysis of patient data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 97-105.
    3. Adriana Castelli & Rowena Jacobs & Maria Goddard & Peter C Smith, 2009. "Exploring the impact of public services on quality of life indicators," Working Papers 046cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

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