Government agencies and donors face significant challenges in determining how best to allocate available resources to improve population health, whether through regulations, new programs, or existing programs. Conventional methods of economic assessment, such as benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), often inform these decisions. Several innovative approaches are now being proposed to replace or supplement these conventional methods, and their ethical implications have not been thoroughly investigated and compared. Any method of economic assessment selected will have significant, complex, and nonobvious ethical implications.
This Summer Academy will explore the ethical dimensions of approaches for economic assessment of health policy, both innovative and conventional, paying special attention to approaches that measure improvements and harms using the same metric ‒ similar to conventional BCA, which uses money metrics for both benefits and costs. Examples of such innovation include the application of social welfare functions, subjective well-being (“happiness”) units, and equivalent income or healthy life-year measures. We will also explore variants that assign extra weight to benefiting the poor, the unhealthy, or the otherwise disadvantaged.
Brocher Lecture | Professor John Broome
How to value a person’s life | 30 June 2022
Downloadable as PDF below.