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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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The Valuation of Environmental Health Risks

Environmental policy affects human health by reducing environmental risks that result in either premature mortality or non-fatal ill-health. People attach value to the reductions in health risk associated with environmental policies, and valuing such benefits can be undertaken using either revealed preference or stated preference methods. Depending on the nature of the environmental pressure and health impact, it has been found that health benefits can represent a majority of benefits of policy interventions. However, most such studies have been done using adult samples, and there is a need for similar estimates for children.

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