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Discounting and the Evaluation of Lifesaving Programs

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  • Cropper, Maureen L
  • Portney, Paul R

Abstract

The evaluation of lifesaving programs whose benefits extend into the future involves two discounting issues. The intragenerational discounting problem is how to express, in age-j dollars, reductions in an individual's conditional probability of dying at some future age k. Havig discounted future lifesaving benefits to the beginning of each individual's life, one is faced with the problem of discounting these benefits to the present--the intergenerational discounting problem. We discuss both problems from the perspectives of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses. These principles are then applied to lifesaving programs that involve a latency period. Copyright 1990 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Cropper, Maureen L & Portney, Paul R, 1990. "Discounting and the Evaluation of Lifesaving Programs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 369-379, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:3:y:1990:i:4:p:369-79
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberini, Anna & Tonin, Stefania & Turvani, Margherita, 2009. "Rates of Time Preferences for Saving Lives in the Hazardous Waste Site Context," Sustainability Indicators and Environmental Valuation Working Papers 47177, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. Richard T. Carson & Robert Cameron Mitchell, 2006. "Public Preferences Toward Environmental Risks: The Case of Trihalomethanes," Chapters,in: Handbook on Contingent Valuation, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. James Hammitt & Jin-Tan Liu, 2004. "Effects of Disease Type and Latency on the Value of Mortality Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 73-95, January.
    4. McDonald, R.L. & Chilton, S.M. & Jones-Lee, M.W. & Metcalf, H.R.T., 2017. "Evidence of variable discount rates and non-standard discounting in mortality risk valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 152-167.
    5. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
    6. Alberini, Anna & Chiabai, Aline, 2006. "Discount Rates in Risk v. Money and Money v. Money Tradeoffs," Sustainability Indicators and Environmental Valuation Working Papers 12209, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    7. Hugh Gravelle & Dave Smith, 2001. "Discounting for health effects in cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(7), pages 587-599.

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