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Robust estimates of value of a statistical life for developing economies

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  • Bowland, Bradley J.
  • Beghin, John C.

Abstract

Environmental economists use the value-of-statistical-life (VSL) approach to value mortality changes resulting from environmental improvement. Because of scarce data, VSL estimates are unavailable for most developing countries. Using robust regression techniques, we conduct a meta-analysis of VSL studies in industrialized countries to derive a VSL prediction function for developing economies accounting for differences in risk, income, human capital levels, and other demographic characteristics of these economies. We apply our estimated VSL to assess the willingness to pay for reduction in mortality linked to air pollution in Santiago, Chile. We find willingness-to-pay estimates in the range of 1992 purchasing power parity (PPP) $519,000-675,000 per life.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bowland, Bradley J. & Beghin, John C., 2001. "Robust estimates of value of a statistical life for developing economies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 385-396, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:23:y:2001:i:4:p:385-396
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    1. Brad J. Bowland & John C. Beghin, 1998. "Robust Estimates of Value of a Statistical Life for Developing Economies: An Application to Pollution and Mortality in Santiago," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 99-wp214, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    2. Beghin, John C. & Bowland, Brad J. & Dessus, Sebastien & Roland-Holst, David & Van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 1999. "Trade, Environment, and Public Health in Chile. Evidence from an Economywide Model," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1904, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-1946, December.
    4. Desvouges, William H. & Naughton, Michael C. & Parsons, George R., 1992. "Benefits transfer: conceptual problems in estimating water quality benefits using existing studies," MPRA Paper 36405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Alberini, Anna & Krupnick, Alan, 1998. "Air Quality and Episodes of Acute Respiratory Illness in Taiwan Cities: Evidence from Survey Data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 68-92, July.
    7. Ostr, Bart & Sanchez, Jose Miguel & Aranda, Carlos & Eskeland, Gunnar S., 1995. "Air pollution and mortality : results from Santiago, Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1453, The World Bank.
    8. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Fu, Tsu-Tan & Krupnick, Alan & Liu, Jin-Tan & Shaw, Daigee & Harrington, Winston, 1997. "Valuing Health Effects of Air Pollution in Developing Countries: The Case of Taiwan," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 107-126, October.
    9. O'Ryan, Raul E., 1996. "Cost-Effective Policies to Improve Urban Air Quality in Santiago, Chile," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 302-313, November.
    10. Smith, V Kerry & Huang, Ju-Chin, 1995. "Can Markets Value Air Quality? A Meta-analysis of Hedonic Property Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 209-227, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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