This paper introduces the rank-dependent quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) model, a new method to aggregate QALYs in economic evaluations of health care. The rank-dependent QALY model permits the formalization of influential concepts of equity in the allocation of health care, such as the fair innings approach, and it includes as special cases many of the social welfare functions that have been proposed in the literature. An important advantage of the rank-dependent QALY model is that it offers a straightforward procedure to estimate equity weights for QALYs. We characterize the rank-dependent QALY model and argue that its central condition has normative appeal.

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Journal of Health Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

Bleichrodt, H., Diecidue, E., & Quiggin, J. (2004). Equity Weights in the Allocation of Health Care: The Rank-Dependent QALY Model. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 23, pp. 157–171). doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2003.08.002