Fairness in Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Application to Health Technology Assessment
49 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 10, 2015
We evaluate the introduction of various forms of antihypertensive treatment in France with a distribution-sensitive cost-benefit analysis. Compared to traditional cost-benefit analysis, we implement distributional weighting based on equivalent incomes, a new concept of individual well-being that does respect individual preferences but is not subjectively welfarist. Individual preferences are estimated on the basis of a contingent valuation question, introduced into a representative survey of the French population. Compared to traditional cost-effectiveness analysis in health technology assessment, we show that it is practically feasible to go beyond a narrow evaluation of health outcomes while still fully exploiting the technical sophistication of medical information. Sensitivity analysis illustrates the relevancy of this richer welfare framework, the importance of the distinction between an ex ante and an ex post-approach, and the need to consider distributional effects in a broader institutional setting.
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