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Valuing Reductions in Fatal Illness Risks: Implications of Recent Research

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  • Lisa A. Robinson
  • James K. Hammitt

Abstract

The value of mortality risk reductions, conventionally expressed as the value per statistical life, is an important determinant of the net benefits of many government policies. US regulators currently rely primarily on studies of fatal injuries, raising questions about whether different values might be appropriate for risks associated with fatal illnesses. Our review suggests that, despite the substantial expansion of the research base in recent years, few US studies of illness‐related risks meet criteria for quality, and those that do yield similar values to studies of injury‐related risks. Given this result, combining the findings of these few studies with the findings of the more robust literature on injury‐related risks appears to provide a reasonable range of estimates for application in regulatory analysis. Our review yields estimates ranging from about $4.2 million to $13.7 million with a mid‐point of $9.0 million (2013 dollars). Although the studies we identify differ from those that underlie the values currently used by Federal agencies, the resulting estimates are remarkably similar, suggesting that there is substantial consensus emerging on the values applicable to the general US population. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2016. "Valuing Reductions in Fatal Illness Risks: Implications of Recent Research," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(8), pages 1039-1052, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:8:p:1039-1052
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3214
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    Cited by:

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    2. Alberini, Anna & Ščasný, Milan, 2018. "The benefits of avoiding cancer (or dying from cancer): Evidence from a four- country study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 249-262.
    3. Jaithri Ananthapavan & Marj Moodie & Andrew J. Milat & Rob Carter, 2021. "Systematic Review to Update ‘Value of a Statistical Life’ Estimates for Australia," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(11), pages 1-17, June.
    4. James K. Hammitt & Fangli Geng & Xiaoqi Guo & Chris P. Nielsen, 2019. "Valuing mortality risk in China: Comparing stated-preference estimates from 2005 and 2016," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 167-186, June.
    5. Chang, Angela.Y & Hammitt, James K. & Resch, S.C & Robinson, Lisa A., 2017. "The economics in 'Global Health 2035': a sensitivity analysis of the value of a life year estimates," TSE Working Papers 17-756, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Shupeng Zhu & Michael Mac Kinnon & Andrea Carlos-Carlos & Steven J. Davis & Scott Samuelsen, 2022. "Decarbonization will lead to more equitable air quality in California," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, December.
    7. Patrick Carlin & Brian E. Dixon & Kosali I. Simon & Ryan Sullivan & Coady Wing, 2022. "How Undervalued is the Covid-19 Vaccine? Evidence from Discrete Choice Experiments and VSL Benchmarks," NBER Working Papers 30118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. James K. Hammitt, 2017. "Valuing Non-Fatal Health Risks: Monetary and Health-Utility Measures," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 68(3), pages 335-356.
    9. Luciana Echazu & Diego C. Nocetti, 2020. "Willingness to pay for morbidity and mortality risk reductions during an epidemic. Theory and preliminary evidence from COVID-19," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 45(2), pages 114-133, September.
    10. Robinson, Lisa A. & Raich, William & Hammitt, James K., 2019. "Valuing Children’s Fatality Risk Reductions," TSE Working Papers 19-1018, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Hammitt, James K. & Haninger, Kevin, 2017. "Valuing nonfatal health risk as a function of illness severity and duration: Benefit transfer using QALYs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 17-38.
    12. Grisolía, José M. & Longo, Alberto & Hutchinson, George & Kee, Frank, 2018. "Comparing mortality risk reduction, life expectancy gains, and probability of achieving full life span, as alternatives for presenting CVD mortality risk reduction: A discrete choice study of framing ," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 164-174.
    13. James K. Hammitt & Peter Morfeld & Jouni T. Tuomisto & Thomas C. Erren, 2020. "Premature Deaths, Statistical Lives, and Years of Life Lost: Identification, Quantification, and Valuation of Mortality Risks," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(4), pages 674-695, April.

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