The integration of claims to health-care: a programming approach

J Health Econ. 2003 Sep;22(5):731-45. doi: 10.1016/S0167-6296(03)00024-9.


The paper contributes to the use of social choice and welfare theory in health economics by developing and applying the integration of claims framework to health-care rationing. Related to Sen's critique of neo-classical welfare economics, the integration of claims framework recognises three primitive sources of claim: consequences, deontology and procedures. A taxonomy is presented with the aid of which it is shown that social welfare functions reflecting these claims individually or together, can be specified. Some of the resulting social choice rules can be regarded as generalisations of health-maximisation and all have normative justifications, though the justifications may not be universally acceptable. The paper shows how non-linear programming can be used to operationalise such choice rules and illustrates their differential impacts on the optimal provision of health-care. Following discussion of relations to the capabilities framework and the context in which rationing occurs, the paper concludes that the integration of claims provides a viable framework for modelling health-care rationing that is technically rigorous, general and tractable, as well as being consistent with relevant moral considerations and citizen preferences.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Health Care Rationing / economics*
  • Health Expenditures / classification
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Resource Allocation
  • Social Change
  • Social Justice
  • Social Responsibility
  • Social Welfare / economics*