We performed an empirical elicitation of the equity-efficiency trade-off in cost-utility analysis using the rank-dependent quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) model, a model that includes as special cases many of the social welfare functions that have been proposed in the literature. Our elicitation method corrects for utility curvature and, therefore, our estimated equity weights are not affected by diminishing marginal utility. We observed a preference for equality in the allocation of health. The data suggest that the elicited equity weights were jointly determined by preferences for equality and by insensitivity to group size. A procedure is proposed to correct the equity weights for insensitivity to group size. Finally, we give an illustration how our method can be implemented in health policy.

doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2004.10.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/10990
Journal of Health Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

Bleichrodt, H., Doctor, J., & Stolk, E. (2005). A Nonparametric Elicitation of the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff in Cost-Utility Analysis. Journal of Health Economics, 24(4), 655–678. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2004.10.001