IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The utility of health and wealth

  • Levy, Moshe
  • Nir, Adi Rizansky

Tradeoffs 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.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629612000100
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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.

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

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 379-392

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:2:p:379-392
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
  6. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Domeij David & Johannesson Magnus, 2006. "Consumption and Health," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, May.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:2:p:379-392. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.