Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship
This paper examines within-sample correlation between six different precautionary behaviors and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction. The paper also shows estimates of the value of a statistical life based on seat belt and bicycle helmet usage as well as based on the stated willingness to pay for a risk reduction in traffic mortality. Contrary to the theoretical expectations, no correlation is found between precautionary behavior and willingness to pay, which is problematic for the validity of contingent valuation answers. One major explanation is that females and the elderly take more precaution, but states a lower WTP for a risk reduction. The estimates of VSL from the different approaches are $11.0, $6.4 and $5.5 million from stated WTP, seat belt use and bicycle helmet use, respectively.
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