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Foundations in welfare economics and utility theory: what should be valued? 

Foundations in welfare economics and utility theory: what should be valued?
Chapter:
Foundations in welfare economics and utility theory: what should be valued?
Author(s):

John Brazier

, Julie Ratcliffe

, Joshua A. Salomon

, and Aki Tsuchiya

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198725923.003.0003
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date: 05 July 2022

This chapter examines what is to be valued in economic evaluation of health care interventions. It starts by reviewing economic theory on resource allocation through the market mechanism and applying this to the health care sector. It then presents the alternative of resource allocation by government intervention and the implications this has for the use of economic evaluation and the measure of benefit. This is followed by a consideration of the welfarist foundation for a measure of health such as the QALY, and finally some non-welfarist arguments for this. The aim of this chapter is to examine what is important for the purpose of economic evaluation and, specifically, the place of the QALY measure.

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