Values and preferences are not necessarily the same Academic Article uri icon


  • Economic theory typically draws no distinction between preferences and values, assumes that preferences are stable and complete and that all that need be done to elicit them is to ask the right question in the right way. It is argued here that values for some fundamental aspects of life, such as health, are not the same as preferences. The former are less differentiated and require construction and clarification before they can be elicited. The implications of this for health state valuation are discussed.

publication date

  • September 1997