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Valuing Reductions in Environmental Risks to Children’s Health


  • Shelby Gerking

    () (Department of Economics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-1400
    Department of Economics and Tilburg Sustainability Center, Tilburg University, 5000LE Tilburg, The Netherlands)

  • Mark Dickie

    () (Department of Economics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-1400)


This article reviews the economics literature dealing with valuation of reduced environmental risks to children’s health. We describe conceptual models together with results from a number of empirical studies. The conceptual models analyze valuation issues from the perspective of parents; treat health risk as endogenously determined; and demonstrate that in equilibrium, marginal willingness to pay to reduce risk for the child relative to marginal willingness to pay to reduce risk for the parent should equal the ratio of marginal risk reduction costs. Empirical studies treat both mortality and morbidity associated with exposure to environmental health risks. These studies generally find that parents are willing to pay more for absolute risk reductions for their children than they are willing to pay for corresponding risk reductions for themselves. Possible reasons for this outcome along with suggestions for further research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Shelby Gerking & Mark Dickie, 2013. "Valuing Reductions in Environmental Risks to Children’s Health," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 245-260, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:5:y:2013:p:245-260

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    Cited by:

    1. Wiktor Adamowicz & Mark Dickie & Shelby Gerking & Marcella Veronesi & David Zinner, 2014. "Household Decision Making and Valuation of Environmental Health Risks to Parents and Their Children," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 481-519.
    2. Carla Guerriero & John Cairns & Fabrizio Bianchi & Liliana Cori, 2016. "Are Children Rational Decision Makers when they are Asked to Value their own Health? A Contingent Valuation Study Conducted with Children and their Parents," CSEF Working Papers 448, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    3. Hammitt, James K. & Haninger, Kevin, 2017. "Valuing nonfatal health risk as a function of illness severity and duration: Benefit transfer using QALYs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 17-38.
    4. repec:kap:jrisku:v:55:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9267-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    mortality risk; morbidity risk; parents' marginal willingness to pay; environmental hazards;

    JEL classification:

    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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