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Should the capability approach be applied in Health Economics?

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  • Joanna Coast
  • Richard Smith
  • Paula Lorgelly

Abstract

This editorial questions the implications of the capability approach for health economics. Two specific issues are considered: the evaluative space of capablities (as opposed to health or utility) and the decision‐making principle of maximisation. The paper argues that the capability approach can provide a richer evaluative space enabling improved evaluation of many interventions. It also argues that more thought is needed about the decision‐making principles both within the capability approach and within health economics more generally. Specifically, researchers should analyse equity‐oriented principles such as equalisation and a ‘decent minimum’ of capability, rather than presuming that the goal must be the maximisation of capability. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Coast & Richard Smith & Paula Lorgelly, 2008. "Should the capability approach be applied in Health Economics?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 667-670, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:6:p:667-670
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1359
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1359
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ingrid Robeyns, 2003. "Sen'S Capability Approach And Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 61-92.
    4. Richard Cookson, 2005. "QALYs and the capability approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 817-829, August.
    5. Culyer, A J, 1989. "The Normative Economics of Health Care Finance and Provision," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 34-58, Spring.
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    7. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1994. "Human development Index: Methodology and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1994-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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