Economic Evaluation of Health Policies: Who’s Afraid of the Economic Standard

Marc Fleurbaey, Stéphane Luchini and Erik Schokkaert

Table of Contents


The economic evaluation of health policies frightens those who do not want to assimilate health to a marketable commodity. We argue that this fear is justified about some criteria but does not warrant a principled objection to all kinds of economic evaluations. With the example of a criterion based on the “equivalent income”, we show how the special value of health and equity considerations can be properly taken into account in cost-benefit analysis.

JEL Classification: D63, H21, H51, I18.


  • cost-benefit analysis
  • cost-effectiveness
  • social welfare function
  • willingness-to-pay
  • equivalent income