IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Valuing Reduced Risks To Children: The Case Of Bicycle Safety Helmets


  • Robin R. Jenkins
  • Nicole Owens
  • Lanelle Bembenek Wiggins


The protection of children's health has recently become a mandated priority for federal policy makers. To assess many of the regulations that affect children's health, policy makers need estimates of the monetary value of reducing mortality risks to children. Although the economics literature has provided many estimates of the value of statistical life (VSL) for adult populations, it has provided none for school age children. This article studies the market for bicycle safety helmets and estimates for the first time a separate but comparable VSL for children and adults. We derive three estimates of VSL for each of three age categories (5 to 9, 10 to 14, and 20 to 59) that range from $1.1 to $4.0 million. In all cases, estimates for adults are highest, followed by estimates for the youngest children. Copyright 2001 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin R. Jenkins & Nicole Owens & Lanelle Bembenek Wiggins, 2001. "Valuing Reduced Risks To Children: The Case Of Bicycle Safety Helmets," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 397-408, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:19:y:2001:i:4:p:397-408

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Atkinson, Scott E & Halvorsen, Robert, 1990. "The Valuation of Risks to Life: Evidence from the Market for Automobiles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 133-136, February.
    2. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-265, May.
    3. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
    4. Dreyfus, Mark K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1995. "Rates of Time Preference and Consumer Valuations of Automobile Safety and Fuel Efficiency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 79-105, April.
    5. Ann Fisher & Lauraine G. Chestnut & Daniel M. Violette, 1989. "The value of reducing risks of death: A note on new evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 88-100.
    6. Garbacz, Christopher, 1989. "Smoke detector effectiveness and the value of saving a life," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 281-286, December.
    7. Jin-Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt & Jung-Der Wang & Jin-Long Liu, 2000. "Mother's willingness to pay for her own and her child's health: a contingent valuation study in Taiwan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 319-326.
    8. Dardis, Rachel, 1980. "The Value of a Life: New Evidence from the Marketplace," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1077-1082, December.
    9. Blomquist, Glenn C, 1979. "Value of Life Saving: Implications of Consumption Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 540-558, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Kuhn & Oliver Ruf, 2009. "The Value of a Statistical Injury: New Evidence from the Swiss Labor Market," NRN working papers 2009-15, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Jason F. Shogren & Tommy Stamland, 2005. "Self-Protection and Value of Statistical Life Estimation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
    3. Dennis Guignet & Anna Alberini, 2013. "Can Property Values Capture Changes in Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from a Stated Preference Study in Italy and the UK," Working Papers 2013.67, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Dickie, Mark & Gerking, Shelby, 2007. "Altruism and environmental risks to health of parents and their children," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 323-341, May.
    5. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R. & Johnson, Erica H., 2010. "The effect of children on adult demands for health-risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 364-376, May.
    6. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Soma Bhattacharya & Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper, 2007. "The value of mortality risk reductions in Delhi, India," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 21-47, February.
    8. Glenn C. Blomquist, 2004. "Self-Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, March.
    9. Birchenall, Javier A. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2009. "Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 280-295, February.
    10. Mark Agee & Thomas Crocker, 2008. "Does parents’ valuation of children’s health mimic their valuation of own health?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 231-249, January.
    11. Andersson, Henrik, 2013. "Consistency in preferences for road safety: An analysis of precautionary and stated behavior," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 41-49.
    12. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Mikael Svensson, 2009. "Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 65-85, August.
    14. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    15. Andreas Kuhn & Oliver Ruf, 2013. "The Value of a Statistical Injury: New Evidence from the Swiss Labor Market," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(I), pages 57-86, March.
    16. Hammitt, James & Roman, Henry & Stieb, David & Walsh, Tyra, 2012. "Expert Elicitation of the Value per Statistical Life in an Air Pollution Context," LERNA Working Papers 12.10.367, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    17. Cai, Yongxia & Shaw, W. Douglass & Wu, Ximing, 2008. "Risk Perception and Altruistic Averting Behavior: Removing Arsenic in Drinking Water," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6149, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    18. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Henrik Jaldell, 2012. "Do administrators have the same priorities for risk reductions as the general public?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 79-95, August.
    19. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 2004. "Transferring Measures of Adult Health Benefits to Children: A Review of Issues and Results," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 468-482, October.
    20. Andreas Schaefer, 2016. "Survival to Adulthood and the Growth Drag of Pollution," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 16/241, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    21. James Hammitt & Kevin Haninger, 2010. "Valuing fatal risks to children and adults: Effects of disease, latency, and risk aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 57-83, February.
    22. Dorota Girard, 2010. "The distribution over time of costs and social net benefits for pertussis immunization programs," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, March.
    23. Mark Dickie & Shelby Gerking, 2009. "Family Behavior: Implications for Health Benefits Transfer from Adults to Children," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(1), pages 31-43, May.
    24. Blomquist, Glenn C. & Dickie, Mark & O'Conor, Richard M., 2011. "Willingness to pay for improving fatality risks and asthma symptoms: Values for children and adults of all ages," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 410-425, May.
    25. Kuhn, Andreas & Ruf, Oliver, 2009. "The Value of a Statistical Injury: New Evidence from the Swiss Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:19:y:2001:i:4:p:397-408. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.