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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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Survey Results

Value of Statistical Life (VSL) estimates both for children and adults are presented. Analysis of the data indicates (qualified) support for evidence for a ’child premium’, which is consistent with previous literature. This evidence is more robust in the case of the chaining instrument. Moreover, the effects on the estimated VSL of a large number of risk characteristics, demographic and economic factors, and programme attributes were obtained, and the main results are summarised. For instance, it is clear that context matters, but it plays a different role in the case of children and adults, with less variation across context for children than for adults.

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