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Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age

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  • Cropper, Maureen L
  • Aydede, Sema K
  • Portney, Paul R

Abstract

In surveys of 3,000 households, we have found that people attach less importance to saving lives in the future than to saving lives today, and less importance to saving older persons than to saving younger persons. For the median respondent, saving six people in 25 years is equivalent to saving one person today, while for a horizon of 100 years, 45 persons must be saved for every person saved today. The age of those saved also matters; however, respondents do not weight lives saved by number of life-years remaining: For the median respondent, saving one 20-year old is equivalent to saving seven 60-year olds. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-265, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:8:y:1994:i:3:p:243-65
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. Kip Viscusi, 1995. "Cigarette Taxation and the Social Consequences of Smoking," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 51-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    3. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-1269, December.
    4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Age Variations in Risk Perceptions and Smoking Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 577-588, November.
    5. Viscusi, W Kip & Carvalho, Irineu & Antoñanzas, Fernando & Rovira, Joan & Braña, Francisco J. & Portillo, Fabiola, 2000. "Smoking Risks in Spain: Part III--Determinants of Smoking Behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 213-234, November.
    6. Viscusi, W Kip & Hakes, Jahn K & Carlin, Alan, 1997. "Measures of Mortality Risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 213-233, May-June.
    7. Hakes, Jahn K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Mortality Risk Perceptions: A Bayesian Reassessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 135-150, November.
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