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Option Wealth and Bequest Values: The Value of Protecting Future Generations from the Health Risks of Nuclear Waste Storage

  • Mary Riddel
  • W. Douglass Shaw

To assess the relative importance of current costs and future benefits of nuclear waste storage, we develop a simple model of bequest value. The basic model of nonparternalistic altruism is extended to account for the uncertain nature of the externality. The model is applied estimating the social costs of storing high-level nuclear waste at a central repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. We find that the total ex ante social cost per household associated with health and safety risks is $17,128 annually. Over half is attributed to a desire to protect future generations from the risk of nuclear waste storage.

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File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/79/4/537
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 79 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 537-548

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:79:y:2003:i:4:p:537-548
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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  1. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
  2. John B. Loomis & Pierre H. duVair, 1993. "Evaluating the Effect of Alternative Risk Communication Devices on Willingness to Pay: Results from a Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(3), pages 287-298.
  3. Flores, Nicholas E., 2002. "Non-paternalistic altruism and welfare economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 293-305, February.
  4. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  5. Greenley, Douglas A & Walsh, Richard G & Young, Robert A, 1981. "Option Value: Empirical Evidence from a Case Study of Recreation and Water Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 657-73, November.
  6. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. " Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-63, September.
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