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Preferences for equity in health behind a veil of ignorance

  • Fredrik Andersson

    (Department of Economics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

  • Carl Hampus Lyttkens

Individual attitudes to distributions of life years between two groups in a society are explored by means of an experiment. Subjects are asked to place themselves behind a veil of ignorance which is specified in terms of risk (known probabilities) for some subjects and in terms of uncertainty (unknown probabilities) for some subjects. The latter is argued to be the appropriate interpretation of Rawls' notion. It is found that subjects exhibit convex preferences over life years for the two groups, and that preferences do not differ between the risk and the uncertainty specifications. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 369-378

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:8:y:1999:i:5:p:369-378
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  1. Alan Williams, 1997. "Intergenerational Equity: An Exploration of the 'Fair Innings' Argument," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 117-132.
  2. Dolan, Paul, 1998. "The measurement of individual utility and social welfare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 39-52, January.
  3. Nord, Erik & Richardson, Jeff & Street, Andrew & Kuhse, Helga & Singer, Peter, 1995. "Maximizing health benefits vs egalitarianism: An Australian survey of health issues," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1429-1437, November.
  4. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  5. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  6. Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1993. "Equity and equality in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 431-457, December.
  7. Olsen, Jan Abel, 1997. "Theories of justice and their implications for priority setting in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 625-639, December.
  8. Fennema, Hein & Wakker, Peter, 1996. "A Test of Rank-Dependent Utility in the Context of Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 19-35, July.
  9. Lars Lindholm & Måns Rosén, 1998. "On the measurement of the nation's equity adjusted health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(7), pages 621-628.
  10. Lindholm, Lars & Rosen, Mans & Emmelin, Maria, 1996. "An epidemiological approach towards measuring the trade-off between equity and efficiency in health policy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 205-216, March.
  11. Wagstaff, Adam, 1991. "QALYs and the equity-efficiency trade-off," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-41, May.
  12. Johannesson, Magnus & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 1996. "A note on the estimation of the equity-efficiency trade-off for QALYs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 359-368, June.
  13. Bleichrodt, Han, 1997. "Health utility indices and equity considerations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-91, February.
  14. Bukszar, Ed & Knetsch, Jack L, 1997. "Fragile Redistribution Choices behind a Veil of Ignorance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 63-74, January.
  15. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
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