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The impact of real options on willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions

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  • Krüger, Niclas A.
  • Svensson, Mikael

Abstract

Public investments are dynamic in nature, and decision making must account for the uncertainty, irreversibility and potential for future learning. In this paper we adapt the theory for investment under uncertainty for a public referendum setting and perform the first empirical test to show that estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) from stated preference surveys are highly dependent on the inclusion of the option value. Our results indicate an option value of a major economic magnitude. This implies that previously reported VSL estimates, used in societal benefit-cost analysis of health investments, are exaggerated.

Suggested Citation

  • Krüger, Niclas A. & Svensson, Mikael, 2009. "The impact of real options on willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 563-569, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:563-569
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Svensson, Mikael, 2006. "The Value of a Statistical Life in Sweden Estimates from Two Studies using the "Certainty Approach" Calibration," Working Papers 2006:6, Örebro University, School of Business, revised 12 May 2009.
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    10. Henrik Andersson & Mikael Svensson, 2008. "Cognitive ability and scale bias in the contingent valuation method," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(4), pages 481-495, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lawrence, Craig & Thomas, Mathew, 2008. "Real Options: Applications in Public Economics," MPRA Paper 11915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2010. "The Economic Value of Preventing Fatalities: Recent evidence on the value of a statistical life in Sweden," Working Papers 2010:14, Örebro University, School of Business.
    3. Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2012. "The value of a statistical life in Sweden: A review of the empirical literature," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 302-310.
    4. Sund, Björn, 2009. "Certainty calibration in contingent valuation - exploring the within-difference between dichotomous choice and open-ended answers as a certainty measure," Working Papers 2009:1, Örebro University, School of Business.

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