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Anti-social welfare functions: a reply to Hansen et al [erratum appears in J Health Econ. 2005 Sep;24(5):1054]

By R. Edlin


We could reasonably expect society to give at least the same weight to the marginal utility of the poor as to the rich, and to the marginal utility of the ill as compared to the healthy. Whilst Hansen et al. [Journal of Health Economics (2004)], may be said to link CEA and CBA within a welfarist framework, the assumptions they require are inconsistent with these types of ethical preferences. Thus, the degree to which they employ a reasonable social welfare function is doubtful. This paper argues that any link between CEA and CBA will occur not within a welfarist framework but instead within a non-welfarist one in which it is unlikely that CBA results could be easily transformed into cost-effectiveness ratios

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:3580

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