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

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

Abstract

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.

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
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/cep/19.4.397
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    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.
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    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.
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