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Direct answers, as well as pointers to the best literature and textbook treatments, as well as the names of key researchers, are appreciated.

Suppose we are considering policies and transfers that require us to weigh income (consumption) tradeoffs between the poor & the very poor?

E.g., 'is giving 100 USD/year to someone earning 300 USD/year valued more than 1000 USD/year for someone earning 2000 USD/year'?

Suppose we do this with a 'sum of individual utilities' welfare function, perhaps with a 'veil of ignorance' justification.

How then, do we measure people's values/tradeoffs to make specific calculations for this? How do we actually measure and aggregate (individual and social) preferences over income in different states?

  • With hypothetical lottery choices under an Expected Utility VnM framework?
  • Comparing stated values of a QALY across income?
  • Through 'hedonic check-ins' or stated happiness for people with different income levels (perhaps quantifying the relative benefits by exploiting heterogeneity?)
  • Through some actual incentivized choice experiment?
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  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate on what QALY means? $\endgroup$
    – E. Sommer
    Oct 25, 2021 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ Quality Adjusted Life Year as I understand it. The idea is to ask people at different income levels something like "how much would you pay to have one extra year of healthy life" or "how much would you pay to improve your quality of life, for one year, as described in this vignette (describe here, a sickly state...) to the one described in this vignette (describe here, a healthier state). $\endgroup$
    – daaronr
    Oct 25, 2021 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hm, I guess this is a very framed question as I suspect you will get different answers dependent on the previous experiences of the individual as well as the way you are asking this. E. G. How much do we have to pay you to accept one year less of quality life.. Etc. Since Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky we know that the results will differ a lot! Thaler wrote about the value of a humal life as far as I remember.. $\endgroup$
    – T123
    Apr 14 at 7:16

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