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Incorporating inequality aversion in health-care priority setting

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Cowell, Frank (2019) Incorporating inequality aversion in health-care priority setting. Social Justice Research, 32 (2). pp. 172-185. ISSN 0885-7466

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11211-019-00328-6


Although measures of sensitivity to inequality are important in judging the welfare effects of health-care programmes, it is far from straightforward how to elicit them and apply them in health-care decision-making. This paper provides an overview of the literature on the measurement of inequality aversion, examines some of the features specific of the health domain that depart from the income domain, and discusses its implementation in health-system priority-setting decisions. We find evidence that individuals exhibit a preference for more equitable health distribution, but inequality aversion estimates from the literature are unclear. Unlike the income-inequality literature, standard approaches in the health economics do not follow a ‘veil-of-ignorance’ approach and elicit mostly bivariate (income-related health) inequality aversion estimates. We suggest some ideas to reduce the disconnect between the income inequality and health economics literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I19 - Other
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 09:30
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 21:51

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