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Urban environmental health and sensitive populations: How much are the Italians willing to pay to reduce their risks?

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  • Alberini, Anna
  • Chiabai, Aline

Abstract

We use contingent valuation to elicit WTP for a reduction in the risk of dying for cardiovascular and respiratory causes, the most important causes of premature mortality associated with heat wave and air pollution, among the Italian public. The purpose of this study is three-fold. First, we obtain WTP and VSL figures that can be applied when estimating the benefits of heat advisories, other policies that reduce the mortality effects of extreme heat, and environmental policies that reduce the risk of dying for cardiovascular and respiratory causes. Second, our experimental study design allows us to examine the sensitivity of WTP to the size of the risk reduction. Third, we examine whether the WTP of populations that are especially sensitive to extreme heat and air pollution - such as the elderly, those in compromised health, and those living alone and/or physically impaired - is different from that of other individuals. We find that WTP, and hence the VSL, depends on the risk reduction, respondent age (via the baseline risk), and respondent health status. WTP increases with the size of the risk reduction, but is not strictly proportional to it. All else the same, older individuals are willing to pay less for a given risk reduction than younger individuals of comparable characteristics. Poor health, however, tends to raise WTP, so that the appropriate VSL of elderly individuals in poor health may be quite large. Our results support the notion that the VSL is “individuated.â€
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  • Alberini, Anna & Chiabai, Aline, 2007. "Urban environmental health and sensitive populations: How much are the Italians willing to pay to reduce their risks?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 239-258, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:37:y:2007:i:2:p:239-258
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Alberini & Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani & Aline Chiabai, 2007. "Paying for permanence: Public preferences for contaminated site cleanup," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 155-178, April.
    2. Anna Alberini, 2017. "Measuring the economic value of the effects of chemicals on ecological systems and human health," OECD Environment Working Papers 116, OECD Publishing.
    3. Grisolía, José M. & Longo, Alberto & Hutchinson, George & Kee, Frank, 2015. "Applying Health Locus of Control and Latent Class Modelling to food and physical activity choices affecting CVD risk," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-10.
    4. Boeri, Marco & Longo, Alberto & Grisolía, José M. & Hutchinson, W. George & Kee, Frank, 2013. "The role of regret minimisation in lifestyle choices affecting the risk of coronary heart disease," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 253-260.
    5. Torres, Cati & Faccioli, Michela & Riera Font, Antoni, 2017. "Waiting or acting now? The effect on willingness-to-pay of delivering inherent uncertainty information in choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 231-240.
    6. 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.
    7. Grisolía, José M. & Longo, Alberto & Boeri, Marco & Hutchinson, George & Kee, Frank, 2013. "Trading off dietary choices, physical exercise and cardiovascular disease risks," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 130-138.
    8. Gaviria, Carlos Felipe & Martínez, Daniel, 2013. "Air pollution and the willingness to pay of exposed individuals in downtown Medellín, Colombia," REVISTA LECTURAS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE, issue 80, pages 153-182, July.
    9. Courard-Hauri David & Lauer Stephen A., 2012. "Taking "All Men Are Created Equal" Seriously: Toward a Metric for the Intergroup Comparison of Utility Functions Through Life Values," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-30, August.
    10. Chiara PANCOTTI & Giuseppe BATTISTONI & Mario GENCO & Maria Vittoria LIVRAGA & Paola MELLA & Sandro ROSSI & Silvia VIGNETTI, 2015. "The socio-economic impact of the National Hadrontherapy Centre for Cancer Treatment (CNAO): applying a CBA analytical framework," Departmental Working Papers 2015-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    11. Anna Alberini & Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani, 2009. "The Value of Reducing Cancer Risks at Contaminated Sites: Are More Heavily Exposed People Willing to Pay More?," Working Papers 2009.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    12. Lee, Sang Hun & Kang, Hyun Gook, 2016. "Integrated framework for the external cost assessment of nuclear power plant accident considering risk aversion: The Korean case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 111-123.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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