Should the capability approach be applied in health economics?

Joanna Coast, R Smith, P Lorgelly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    99 Citations (Scopus)


    This editorial questions the implications of the capability approach for health economics. Two specific issues are considered: the evaluative space of capablities (as opposed to health or utility) and the decision-making principle of maximisation. The paper argues that the capability approach can provide a richer evaluative space enabling improved evaluation of many interventions. It also argues that more thought is needed about the decision-making principles both within the capability approach and within health economics more generally. Specifically, researchers should analyse equity-oriented principles such as equalisation and a 'decent minimum' of capability, rather than presuming that the goal must be the maximisation of capability. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)667-670
    Number of pages4
    JournalHealth Economics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


    • non-welfarism
    • welfarism
    • capability


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