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Valuation of Environment-Related Health Risks for Children

image of Valuation of Environment-Related Health Risks for Children

Is the value of reducing environmental risk greater for children than for adults? If so, what does this mean for policy makers? This report, the final output of the Valuation of Environment-Related Health Impacts (VERHI) project, presents new research findings on these key environmental policy questions.

The authors estimate a "VSL" (Value of a Statistical Life) for children and adults based on new methodological approaches for valuing children’s health. The survey work is distinguished by its international dimension (surveys were conducted in the Czech Republic, Italy and the United Kingdom) and by the extensive development efforts undertaken.

The result: Two new survey instruments based on different methodological approaches; new estimates of the VSL for adults and children; analysis of the effects of context and other factors on risk preferences; presentation of novel ways to communicate risk, including a variety of visual aids; and insights that identify interesting paths for further study.

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New Approaches to Survey Design and Implementation

Given the methodological complications associated with the valuation of health risk reductions for children, a considerable amount of survey development work was undertaken in the VERHI project. This involved innovative ways to communicate risk, present scenarios of wealth-risk trade-offs, and incorporate a rich set of alternative risk characteristics and types of risk reduction. Two different survey instruments were developed, one involving a conjoint choice experiment (Italy and Czech Republic) and the other a chaining methodology (United Kingdom and Czech Republic). In both cases contingent valuation methods were also applied, and in the Czech Republic a method involving direct “person trade-offs” was applied.

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