In Valuing Health Daniel M. Hausman provides a philosophically sophisticated overview of generic health measurement that suggests improvements in standard methods and proposes a radical alternative. He shows how to avoid relying on surveys and instead evaluate health states directly. Hausman goes on to tackle the deep problems of evaluation, offering an account of fundamental evaluation that does not presuppose the assignment of values to the properties and consequences of alternatives.After discussing the purposes of generic health measurement, Hausman defends a naturalistic concept of health and its relations to measures such as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). In examining current health-measurement systems, Valuing Health clarifies their value commitments and the objections to relying on preference surveys to assign values to health states. Relying on an interpretation of liberal political philosophy, Hausman argues that the public value of health states should be understood in terms of the activity limits and suffering that health states impose.Hausman also addresses the moral conundrums that arise when policy-makers attempt to employ the values of health states to estimate the health benefits of alternative policies and to adopt the most cost-effective. He concludes with a general discussion of the difficulties of combining consequentialist and non-consequentialist moral considerations in policy-making.
In The Press
"In an analysis unmatched for its comprehensiveness and care, Hausman challenges two dominant assumptions in health economics: that the value of health resides in its bearing on well-being, and that health economists should measure that value through the expressed preferences of patients or citizens. Hausman carves out his own highly original, different position on both the nature and measurement of health's value. Nuanced and philosophically acute, his view cannot be ignored." -- Paul T. Menzel, Professor emeritus, Pacific Lutheran University
"Dan Hausman's Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering is a scholarly work of exceptional clarity and erudition. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, it is a remarkable achievement that caps a decade and a half of thinking and writing on these topics. While ostensibly a book about measuring and valuing health, it covers a much broader intellectual terrain, as Hausman navigates confidently between psychometrics, economics, and political philosophy." -- Joshua Salomon, Harvard School of Public Health
About The Author
Daniel M. Hausman is the Herbert A. Simon and Hilldale Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A founding editor of Economics and Philosophy, his research has centered on epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues at the boundaries between economics and philosophy. His most recent book is Preference, Value, Choice and Welfare (Cambridge University Press, 2012).