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How to correctly assess mortality benefits in public policies

  • Olivier Chanel

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2 - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)

  • Pascale Scapecchi

    (OECD - Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)

  • Jean-Christophe Vergnaud

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

AbstractThis paper concerns the difficulty of taking long-term effects on health into account in an economic valuation. Indeed, public decision makers should incorporate the cessation lag between implementation of an abatement policy and achievement of all of the expected mortality-related benefits for any projects involving health impacts. This paper shows how this time lag problem can be handled by proposing two approaches - either in terms of deaths avoided or of life years saved - within a dynamic perspective. The main findings are that long-term health benefits calculated by standard methods and widely applied to adverse health effects should be corrected downwards when incorporated into an economic analysis. The magnitude of correction depends on the discount rate, on technical choices dealing with epidemiology and on the method chosen to assess mortality benefits.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00150092.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00150092
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00150092
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  1. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1995. "Quality of Life and the WTP for an Increased Life Expectancy at an Advanced Age," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 85, Stockholm School of Economics.
  2. Krupnick, Alan & Cropper, Maureen & Alberini, Anna & Simon, Nathalie & Itaoka, Kenshi & Akai, Makoto, 1999. "Mortality Risk Valuation for Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers dp-99-47, Resources For the Future.
  3. Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper & Alan Krupnick & Nathalie Simon, 2006. "Willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions: Does latency matter?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 231-245, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Viscusi, W Kip & Hakes, Jahn K & Carlin, Alan, 1997. "Measures of Mortality Risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 213-33, May-June.
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