Introducing a 'Different Lives' Approach to the Valuation of Health and Well-Being

18 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2008

See all articles by Matthew D. Adler

Matthew D. Adler

Duke University School of Law

Paul Dolan

Imperial College London

Date Written: March 19, 2008

Abstract

We introduce a new "different lives" survey format, which asks respondents to rank hypothetical lives described in terms of longevity, health, happiness, income, and other elements of the quality of life. In this short paper, we show that the format is of policy relevance whether a mental state, preference satisfaction or extra-welfarist account of well-being is adopted and discuss some of the advantages the format has over standard formats, such as contingent valuation surveys and QALY-type methods. An exploratory survey indicates that the format is feasible and that health and happiness might be more important than income and life expectancy.

Keywords: QALYs, preferences, well-being, utility, welfarism, extra-welfarism

JEL Classification: D60, I10

Suggested Citation

Adler, Matthew D. and Dolan, Paul, Introducing a 'Different Lives' Approach to the Valuation of Health and Well-Being (March 19, 2008). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 08-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1112636 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1112636

Matthew D. Adler (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Paul Dolan

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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