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How to correctly assess mortality benefits in public policies

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Author Info

  • Olivier Chanel

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

  • Pascale Scapecchi

    (OECD - Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)

  • Jean-Christophe Vergnaud

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

AbstractThis paper concerns the difficulty of taking long-term effects on health into account in an economic valuation. Indeed, public decision makers should incorporate the cessation lag between implementation of an abatement policy and achievement of all of the expected mortality-related benefits for any projects involving health impacts. This paper shows how this time lag problem can be handled by proposing two approaches - either in terms of deaths avoided or of life years saved - within a dynamic perspective. The main findings are that long-term health benefits calculated by standard methods and widely applied to adverse health effects should be corrected downwards when incorporated into an economic analysis. The magnitude of correction depends on the discount rate, on technical choices dealing with epidemiology and on the method chosen to assess mortality benefits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00150092.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2006, 49, 5, 759 - 776
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00150092

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00150092
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Related research

Keywords: air pollution; health effect; lattency effect;

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  1. Hugh Gravelle & Dave Smith, 2001. "Discounting for health effects in cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(7), pages 587-599.
  2. Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper & Alan Krupnick & Nathalie B. Simon, 2004. "Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: Does Latency Matter?," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2004.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Krupnick, Alan & Cropper, Maureen & Alberini, Anna & Simon, Nathalie & Itaoka, Kenshi & Akai, Makoto, 1999. "Mortality Risk Valuation for Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-99-47, Resources For the Future.
  4. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1997. "Quality of life and the WTP for an increased life expectancy at an advanced age," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 219-228, August.
  5. Viscusi, W Kip & Hakes, Jahn K & Carlin, Alan, 1997. "Measures of Mortality Risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 213-33, May-June.
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