Willingness to pay for improving fatality risks and asthma symptoms: Values for children and adults of all ages
We examine effects of age on valuation of mortality and morbidity risks using a two-stage contingent valuation survey and a sample including parents of children aged 4-17 years and adults aged 18-92. The survey used a hypothetical improved asthma therapy to elicit (1) tradeoffs between asthma control and fatality risk, (2) willingness to pay (WTP) for reduced fatality risk, and (3) WTP for asthma control. The mean value of statistical life (VSL) at average age is $3.8M, but age affects VSL and nonlinearly. Estimated VSL is highest at age four ($14.1M), falls until age 30 ($3.7M), rises until age 66 ($6.7M), and then falls to $1.5M by age 92. Results from the wide age range considered may partly reconcile apparently conflicting results from previous studies focused on narrower age ranges. The value of asthma control is not as strongly related to age as VSL and ranges from $1700 to $4000 annually.
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