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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolan, Paul & Tsuchiya, Aki, 2009. "The social welfare function and individual responsibility: Some theoretical issues and empirical evidence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 210-220, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:1:p:210-220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pinto-Prades, Jose-Luis & Sánchez-Martínez, Fernando-Ignacio & Corbacho, Belen & Baker, Rachel, 2014. "Valuing QALYs at the end of life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 5-14.
    2. Matthew Robson & Miqdad Asaria & Richard Cookson & Aki Tsuchiya & Shehzad Ali, 2017. "Eliciting the Level of Health Inequality Aversion in England," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(10), pages 1328-1334, October.
    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. Lin Yang, 2017. "Measuring individual well-being: A multidimensional index integrating subjective well-being and preferences," CASE Papers /202, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    5. Gu, Yuanyuan & Lancsar, Emily & Ghijben, Peter & Butler, James RG & Donaldson, Cam, 2015. "Attributes and weights in health care priority setting: A systematic review of what counts and to what extent," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 41-52.
    6. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. 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.
    8. Lars Schwettmann, 2012. "Competing allocation principles: time for compromise?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 357-380, September.
    9. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier & Pinto, Jose Luis, 2016. "An elicitation of utility for quality of life under prospect theory," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 121-134.
    10. Paul Collier & Olivier C. Sterck & Richard Manning, 2015. "The Moral and Fiscal Implications of Anti-Retroviral Therapies for HIV in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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