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Contingent valuation analysis of willingness to pay to reduce childhood obesity

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  • Cawley, John

Abstract

Several recent surveys have asked Americans whether they support policies to reduce childhood obesity. There is reason for skepticism of such surveys because people are not confronted with the tax costs of such policies when they are asked whether they support them. This paper uses contingent valuation (CV), a method frequently used to estimate people's willingness to pay (WTP) for goods or services not transacted in markets, applied to unique survey data from New York State to estimate the willingness to pay to reduce childhood obesity. The willingness to pay data correlate in predictable ways with respondent characteristics. The mean WTP for a 50% reduction in childhood obesity is $46.41 (95% CI: $33.45, $59.15), which implies a total WTP by New York State residents of $690.6 million (95% CI: $497.7, $880.15), which is less than that implied by previous surveys that did not use CV methods but greater than current spending on policies to reduce childhood obesity and greater than the estimated savings in external costs. The findings provide policymakers with useful information about taxpayers' support for, and preferred budget for, anti-obesity policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 281-292

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:2:p:281-292

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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  1. Richard D. Smith, 2003. "Construction of the contingent valuation market in health care:a critical assessment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(8), pages 609-628.
  2. Watson, Verity & Ryan, Mandy, 2007. "Exploring preference anomalies in double bounded contingent valuation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 463-482, May.
  3. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
  4. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eric Johnson & Melayne Morgan McInnes & Judith A. Shinogle, 2006. "What is the Economic Cost of Overweight Children?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 171-187, Winter.
  6. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-47, June.
  7. John C. Whitehead, 2000. "“A Practitioner’s Primer on Contingent Valuation,”," Working Papers 0008, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  8. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Eleftheriou, Konstantinos & Athanasiou, George, 2010. "Labour Market, Obesity and Public Policy Considerations," MPRA Paper 20926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dorothea Kesztyüs & Anja Schreiber & Tamara Wirt & Martina Wiedom & Jens Dreyhaupt & Susanne Brandstetter & Benjamin Koch & Olivia Wartha & Rainer Muche & Martin Wabitsch & Reinhold Kilian & Jürgen , 2013. "Economic evaluation of URMEL-ICE, a school-based overweight prevention programme comprising metabolism, exercise and lifestyle intervention in children," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 185-195, April.
  3. Rahkovsky, Ilya & Gregory, Christian A., 2013. "Food prices and blood cholesterol," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 95-107.
  4. Jürges, Hendrik, 2013. "Bildungspolitik versus Gesundheitspolitik - Evidenzbasierte Interventionen gegen soziale Ungleichheit in Gesundheit," MEA discussion paper series 13275, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  5. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2008. "Weight Gain in Adolescents and Their Peers," IZA Discussion Papers 3610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Nathalie Havet & Magali Morelle & Raphaël Remonnay & Marie-Odile Carrere, 2012. "Cancer patients’ willingness to pay for blood transfusions at home: results from a contingent valuation study in a French cancer network," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 289-300, June.
  7. Liu, Jin-Tan & Tsou, Meng-Wen & Hammitt, James K., 2009. "Willingness to pay for weight-control treatment," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 211-218, July.
  8. Ibáñez, Ana Mari­a & Vélez, Carlos Eduardo, 2008. "Civil Conflict and Forced Migration: The Micro Determinants and Welfare Losses of Displacement in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 659-676, April.
  9. Blomquist Glenn C. & Troske Kenneth R. & Coomes Paul A. & Jepsen Christopher & Koford Brandon C., 2014. "Estimating the social value of higher education: willingness to pay for community and technical colleges," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 39, January.
  10. Fu, Tsu-Tan & Lin, Yih-Ming & Huang, Chung L., 2011. "Willingness to pay for obesity prevention," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 316-324, July.
  11. Azevedo, C.D. & Crooker, J.R. & Pattiz, B., 2012. "Bid Imprecision As A Source Of Hypothetical Bias In Contingent Valuation Estimation: Analysis Of A Survey Of Respondent’S Attitudes For The Battle Of Lexington State Historic Site (Shs)," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(2).
  12. Jason Cook & James McDonald, 2013. "Partially Adaptive Estimation of Interval Censored Regression Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 119-131, June.

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