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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

2006

Agency decisionmaking

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Welfare Polls: A Synthesis, Matthew D. Adler Dec 2006

Welfare Polls: A Synthesis, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

“Welfare polls” are survey instruments that seek to quantify the determinants of human well-being. Currently, three “welfare polling” formats are dominant: contingent-valuation surveys, QALY surveys, and happiness surveys. Each format has generated a large, specialized, scholarly literature, but no comprehensive discussion of welfare polling as a general enterprise exists. This Article seeks to fill that gap. Part I describes the trio of existing formats. Part II discusses the actual and potential uses of welfare polls in government decisionmaking. Part III analyzes in detail the obstacles that welfare polls must overcome to provide useful well-being information, and concludes that they can ...