Can an evidential account justify relying on preferences for well-being policy?

Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (3):280-291 (2015)
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Policy-makers sometimes aim to improve well-being as a policy goal, but to do this they need some way to measure well-being. Instead of relying on potentially problematic theories of well-being to justify their choice of well-being measure, Daniel Hausman proposes that policy-makers can sometimes rely on preference-based measures as evidence for well-being. I claim that Hausman’s evidential account does not justify the use of any one measure more than it justifies the use of any other measure. This leaves us at a loss as to which policy should be chosen in the non-trivial cases for which there is substantial disagreement between the different measures in their assessment of policy.
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