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Capabilities as menus: A non-welfarist basis for QALY evaluation

  • Bleichrodt, Han
  • Quiggin, John

Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are the most widely used measure of health in economic evaluations of health care. Within a welfarist framework QALYs are consistent with people's preferences under stringent assumptions. Several authors have argued that QALYs are a valid measure of health within an extra-welfarist framework. This paper studies the applicability of QALYs within the best-known extra-welfarist framework, Sen's capability approach. We propose a procedure to value capability sets and provide a foundation for QALYs within Sen's capability approach. We show that, under appropriate conditions, the ranking of capabilities can be represented locally by a QALY measure and that a willingness to pay for QALYs can be defined. The validity of QALYs as a general measure of health requires the same stringent conditions as in a welfarist framework.

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

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 128-137

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:1:p:128-137
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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