Title

Introducing a "Different Lives" Approach to the Valuation of Health and Well-Being

Document Type

Article

Abstract

We introduce a new “different lives” survey format, which asks respondents to rank hypothetical lives described in terms of longevity, health, happiness, income, and other elements of the quality of life. In this short paper, we show that the format is of policy relevance whether a mental state, preference satisfaction or extra-welfarist account of well-being is adopted and discuss some of the advantages the format has over standard formats, such as contingent valuation surveys and QALY-type methods. An exploratory survey indicates that the format is feasible and that health and happiness might be more important than income and life expectancy.

Date of Authorship for this Version

March 2008

Keywords

QALYs, preferences, well-being, utility, welfarism, extra-welfarism