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Determining the parameters in a social welfare function using stated preference data: an application to health

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Abstract:

One way in which economists might determine how best to balance the competing objectives of efficiency and equality is to specify a Social Welfare Function (SWF). This article looks at how the stated preferences of a sample of the general public can be used to estimate the shape of the SWF in the domain of health benefits. The results suggest that people are willing to make trade-offs between efficiency and equality and that these trade-offs are sensitive to what kind of inequalities exist and to the groups across which those inequalities exist.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840903166244

Affiliations: 1: Imperial College Business School, London, London SW7 2AZ, UK 2: Department of Economics,School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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