Cost–Benefit Analysis and Health Care Evaluations, Second Edition

Cost–Benefit Analysis and Health Care Evaluations, Second Edition

Robert J. Brent

Cost–benefit analysis is the only method of economic evaluation that can effectively indicate whether a health care treatment or intervention is worthwhile. In this thoroughly updated and revised second edition, Robert Brent expands the scope of the field by including the latest concepts and applications throughout all regions of the world. This book attempts to strengthen the link between cost–benefit analysis and the mainstream health care evaluation field, which is dominated by non-economists. The need to build a bridge between the two is more important than ever before, as the general understanding of cost-benefit analysis appears to have regressed.

Chapter 13: Cost–benefit analysis and equity

Robert J. Brent

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, valuation, environment, valuation, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


In this chapter we add equity considerations to the efficiency objective. Instead of going into first principles of what equity means in health economics, along the lines of Williams and Cookson (2000), we will simply build on the discussion of equity in CUA in Chapter 10. The two building blocks are the QALY weights and the person trade-offs. In a CBA context these blocks transform into the use of income distribution weights and the inclusion of a ‘numbers effect’. We devote a section to each of these building blocks after providing the necessary introductory background.

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