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.
Introducing a “Different Lives” Approach to the Valuation of Health and Well-Being (University of Pennsylvania Law School, Institute for Law & Economics, Research Paper No. 08-05, 2008) (with Paul Dolan)
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Well-being, Public welfare, Social welfare, Quality of life, Medical economics