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The significance of distributive effects in social assessment of health care

  • Economics


In this paper we address the importance of distributive effects in the social valuation of QALY's. We propose a social welfare function that generalises the functions traditionally used in the health economic literature. The novelty is that, depending on the individual health gains, our function can represent either preferences for concentrating or preferences for spreading total gain or both together, an issue which has not been addressed until now. Based on an experiment, we observe that this generalisation provides a suitable approximation to the sampled social preferences.

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