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Value of Life and Measuring the Benefits of Landmine Clearance in Cambodia

Author

Listed:
  • Cameron, Michael P.
  • Gibson, John
  • Helmers, Kent
  • Lim, Steven
  • Scrimgeour, Frank G.
  • Tressler, John
  • Vaddanak, Kien

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of the benefits of clearing landmines in two provinces in rural Cambodia using the contingent-valuation (CV) method. The data came from a survey where we asked respondents referendum-type questions that elicit their willingness to pay for landmine clearance. The survey also provides estimates of the injury risk-death risk trade-off and the implicit value of statistical injury. These estimates suggest that the value of lives and injuries saved from mine clearing is likely to be at least an order of magnitude greater than those used in existing studies of mine clearing. We show that the value of lives and injuries saved is likely to dominate benefit assessments when VSL estimates are used. Estimates previously obtained for rural Thailand are contrasted with the results for Cambodia, and the determinants of the VSL investigated using econometric techniques. While Harris (2000) found a significantly negative net present value of landmine clearance in Cambodia we show that when using VSL estimates the net present value is less negative, and the value of lives and injuries saved dominates the benefits

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron, Michael P. & Gibson, John & Helmers, Kent & Lim, Steven & Scrimgeour, Frank G. & Tressler, John & Vaddanak, Kien, 2005. "Value of Life and Measuring the Benefits of Landmine Clearance in Cambodia," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137799, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare05:137799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gareth Elliot & Geoff Harris, 2001. "A cost-benefit analysis of landmine clearance in Mozambique," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 625-633.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    3. K. Shanmugam, 2000. "Valuations of Life and Injury Risks," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(4), pages 379-389, August.
    4. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    5. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-374, June.
    6. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-1946, December.
    7. Barns, Sandra A. & Cameron, Michael P. & Gibson, John & Lim, Steven & Marsh, Dan & Scrimgeour, Frank G. & Tressler, John, 2004. "Valuing the Risk of Death and Injury from Landmines in Thailand," 2004 Conference, June 25-26, 2004, Blenheim, New Zealand 97797, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Kip Viscusi, W. & Magat, Wesley A. & Huber, Joel, 1991. "Pricing environmental health risks: survey assessments of risk-risk and risk-dollar trade-offs for chronic bronchitis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 32-51, July.
    9. Geoff Harris, 2000. "The economics of landmine clearance: case study of Cambodia," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 219-225.
    10. Viscusi, W Kip, 2000. "Risk Equity," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 843-871, June.
    11. Shanmugam, K R, 2001. "Self Selection Bias in the Estimates of Compensating Differentials for Job Risks in India," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 263-275, May.
    12. Jason F. Shogren & Tommy Stamland, 2002. "Skill and the Value of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1168-1197, October.
    13. Beattie, Jane & Covey, Judith & Dolan, Paul & Hopkins, Lorraine & Jones-Lee, Michael & Loomes, Graham & Pidgeon, Nick & Robinson, Angela & Spencer, Anne, 1998. "On the Contingent Valuation of Safety and the Safety of Contingent Valuation: Part 1--Caveat Investigator," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 5-25, October.
    14. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Liu, Jin-Tan & Hammitt, James K. & Liu, Jin-Long, 1997. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in a developing country," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 353-358, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    benefit-cost analysis; contingent valuation; landmines; value of statistical life; Risk and Uncertainty; J17; J28; 022; Q28;

    JEL classification:

    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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